Release Number 7292-15

December 10, 2015

Federal Court Orders California Resident Thomas Gillons to Pay More than $1.9 Million in Restitution and Penalties for Fraud and Misappropriation

Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that the Honorable Harry D. Leinenweber of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois entered a Consent Order for permanent injunction against Thomas Gillons, who resides in Napa County, California. The Order requires Gillons to pay a $1 million civil monetary penalty and $994,068 in restitution, imposes permanent trading and registration bans on Gillons, and prohibits him from further violations of the anti-fraud and registration provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), as charged.

The Order arises out of a CFTC Complaint, filed on November 19, 2014, charging Gillons with fraudulent solicitation and misappropriation of customer funds and accepting funds to margin, guarantee, or secure commodity futures trades without being registered with the CFTC as a Futures Commission Merchant (see Complaint and CFTC Press Release 7067-14, November 25, 2014).

According to the Order, Gillons solicited funds from clients without disclosing that his securities registration had been suspended, falsely representing that he would invest client funds in commodity futures contracts and securities or that he would use client funds to fund the trading company he claimed to be founding. Gillons fraudulently solicited at least $1,550,432 from at least 30 victims in this manner between at least November 2009 and November 2014; deposited all of the funds into his personal bank account; and misappropriated the bulk of victims’ funds totaling approximately $994,068 for personal expenses, the Order finds. To date, Gillons has returned only approximately $556,364 to his victims, despite their repeated requests for the return of their funds and his false promises to repay them, according to the Order.

The CFTC cautions victims that restitution orders may not result in the recovery of money lost because the wrongdoers may not have sufficient funds or assets. The CFTC will continue to fight vigorously for the protection of customers and to ensure the wrongdoers are held accountable.

CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this action are Stephanie Reinhart, David Terrell, Melissa Cavers, Scott Williamson, and Rosemary Hollinger.

Media Contact
Dennis Holden

Last Updated: December 10, 2015