Release Number 7348-16

March 25, 2016

CFTC Charges Virginia Resident Tracy Lee Thomas and His Firm, Cayman Islands-Based Marbury Advisors Inc., with Fraudulently Soliciting over $1.2 Million in a Commodity Futures Scheme

Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced the filing of a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, charging Defendants Tracy Lee Thomas (aka Treyton L. Thomas, Trayton L. Thomas, Trey Thomas, Tray Thomas, and T.L. Thomas) (Thomas) and Marbury Advisors Inc. (Marbury) with fraudulently soliciting over $1.2 million from customers by, among other things, misrepresenting that Defendants would invest in Treasury Bills on customers’ behalf, but instead used their funds to trade commodity futures. Thomas resides, based on information and belief, in Charlottesville, Virginia, and is a principal and a controlling person of Marbury, a Cayman Islands corporation.

Specifically, the CFTC Complaint alleges that, from at least February 2011 to August 2012, Thomas, Managing Director of Marbury, fraudulently deceived at least two customers, including Thomas’ father-in-law, to give Thomas and Marbury over $1.2 million for the ostensible purpose of investing in “T-Bills” or Treasury Bills. For example, according to the Complaint, Thomas misrepresented the Defendants’ prior investment and trading success, and misrepresented that they would invest in Treasury Bills on their customers’ behalf and that Thomas would manage investments in a conservative manner.

In addition, according to the Complaint, the Defendants failed to disclose (1) that they used customers’ funds to trade the Chicago Mercantile Exchange E-mini S&P 500 futures contract and the Chicago Board of Trade 2-Year Treasury Note futures contract, (2) the substantial risk of loss associated with commodity futures trading in which all of customers’ funds could be lost, and (3) that they lost all or nearly all of customers’ funds trading commodity futures on their behalf. Thomas allegedly provided one customer fabricated bank account statements purporting to show all the funds were in Treasury Bills or Treasury Notes, when that customer’s contribution was actually in Marbury’s commodity futures account.

In its ongoing litigation, the CFTC seeks restitution, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil monetary penalties, permanent trading and registration bans, and a permanent injunction against further violations of the federal commodities laws, as charged.

The CFTC thanks and acknowledges the assistance of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority.

CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Michael R. Berlowitz, W. Derek Shakabpa, Judith M. Slowly, David Acevedo, Lenel Hickson, Jr., and Manal M. Sultan.

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CFTC’s Fraud Advisories

The CFTC has issued several customer protection Fraud Advisories that provide the warning signs of fraud.

Customers can report suspicious activities or information, such as possible violations of commodity trading laws, to the CFTC Division of Enforcement via a Toll-Free Hotline 866-FON-CFTC (866-366-2382) or file a tip or complaint online. 

Media Contact
Dennis Holden

Last Updated: March 25, 2016