Release Number 7785-18
September 14, 2018
CFTC Charges Multiple Forex and Binary Options Dealers with Registration Violations
CFTC Simultaneously Files and Settles Multiple Actions against Eight Firms and Eight Individuals for Illegally Offering Forex and Binary Options to Retail Investors in the United States
Washington, DC – The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today issued Orders filing and simultaneously settling charges against eight unregistered entities and eight unregistered individuals that were offering foreign exchange (forex) and binary options to retail investors located in the United States.
CFTC Enforcement Director Comments
James McDonald, the CFTC’s Director of the Division of Enforcement, stated: “We have seen an increase in the number of unregistered entities and individuals illegally pedaling apps, websites, and social media to retail customers for trading in forex and binary options. Many of these entities and individuals specifically target Millennials, who may be less experienced investors.”
Addressing the market benefits for forex and binary options registration requirements, Mr. McDonald further stated: “When customers deal with CFTC-registered entities, they can have confidence that certain required safeguards are in place to protect them from fraud and other abusive practices. Customers can have no such confidence when dealing with unregistered entities. That is one reason why the law requires individuals and entities offering products in our markets to register with the CFTC. And that’s why the CFTC will vigorously pursue entities and individuals who fail to register with the CFTC when required and put in place the necessary safeguards needed to protect customers and preserve market integrity.”
The following companies and individuals were sued by the CFTC in Orders issued today:
- Allen Investment Management, LLC et al., an Indiana LLC and founder and officer Ryan Jacob Allen;
- Forex Entourage LLC, a Utah LLC and its cofounders Paul Anthony Romero and Zachary Duffy;
- HedgeFund4U, LLC, a California LLC and its chief executive officer Isaac Ticon;
- Hooley Solutions LLC, a Utah LLC and its founder and owner Steven Bradley Hooley;
- International Markets Live, Inc.; a New York corporation;
- LegionFX LLC, a Nevada LLC;
- The Lion’s Share FX, a Michigan company and co-founders Jordan Denham, Collin Hargis and Josh Pascoe; and
- Wealth Generators, LLC, a Utah LLC.
The CFTC strongly urges the public to check whether a company is registered before investing funds. If a company is not registered, an investor should be wary of providing funds to that company.
The CFTC appreciates the assistance of the Financial Supervision Commission of Bulgaria and the Utah Division of Securities.
A company’s registration status can be found at: https://www.smartcheck.gov/. The CFTC also strongly urges members of the public to visit https://www.smartcheck.gov/ before investing money in the forex market or in binary options.
The CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for these cases are Paul G. Hayeck, Timothy J. Mulreany, Rick Glaser, Daniel Jordan, Christine Ryall, Michael Solinsky, Michelle Bougas Eugenia Vroustouris, Glenn Chernigoff, Jason Gizzarelli, and Rishi Gupta.
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CFTC’s Customer Fraud Advisories on Forex and Binary Options
The CFTC has issued several customer protection Fraud Advisories that provide the warning signs of fraud, including a Foreign Currency Trading (Forex) Fraud Advisory, which helps customers identify this potential fraud, and a Binary Options Consumer Advisory, which warns about fraudulent schemes involving binary options and their trading platforms.
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.