Release Number 7154-15

April 17, 2015

CFTC Charges Matthew J. Marcus and His California Company, Tech Power, Inc., and John D. Briner and His Canadian Law Firm, MetroWest Law Corp., with a Money Pass Scheme Involving More than 1,200 Single Stock Futures Trades

Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that it filed a civil enforcement action in federal court in Chicago against Matthew J. Marcus of California and his company, Tech Power, Inc. (Tech Power), a Nevada corporation located in California, and John D. Briner, an attorney residing in Vancouver, Canada, and his company, MetroWest Law Corporation (MetroWest), a Canadian law firm. The CFTC Complaint charges the four Defendants with engaging in fictitious single stock futures transactions on OneChicago LLC (OneChicago) and trading non-competitively. 

On April 16, 2015, the Honorable Milton Shadur of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois entered a restraining Order freezing certain assets and prohibiting the Defendants from destroying documents. 

The CFTC Complaint alleges that over seven consecutive trading days from January 28, 2014 to February 5, 2014, the Defendants engaged in 624 round-turn trades between an account carried in the name of MetroWest and an account carried in the name of Tech Power involving 1,248 perfectly matched pre-arranged, non-competitive transactions in single stock futures contracts listed on OneChicago. By structuring the transactions in this way, the Defendants allegedly were able to ensure that MetroWest would trade with Tech Power and that Tech Power would always profit from the transactions. According to the Complaint, through these transactions, the Defendants conducted a “money pass” between the two accounts and moved at least $390,000 from MetroWest to Tech Power.  Defendants carried out their scheme on OneChicago using two trading accounts held at the same CFTC-registered futures commission merchant.

In its continuing litigation, the CFTC seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil monetary penalties, trading and registration bans, and permanent injunctions against further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act, as charged.

The CFTC thanks OneChicago for its assistance.

CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Lindsey Evans, Diane Romaniuk, Heather Johnson, Melissa Glasbrenner, Robert Howell, Scott Williamson, and Rosemary Hollinger.

Media Contact
Dennis Holden

Last Updated: April 17, 2015