October 15, 2018
Federal Court in New York Orders Kevin Antonovich to Pay $554,375 Judgment for Commodity Pool Fraud
Washington, DC – The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that Judge I. Leo Glasser of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued a Consent Order on October 3, 2018, against Kevin Scott Antonovich, a resident of Cherry Grove, New York, requiring him to pay $554,375 in restitution and a civil monetary penalty for violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC Regulations. The Order also imposes permanent trading and registration bans on Antonovich, among other injunctive relief.
The Court’s Order stems from a CFTC Enforcement Complaint filed on April 23, 2018, that charged Antonovich with misappropriation of customer funds, fraudulent solicitation in connection with investments in a commodity pool, and with registration violations (see CFTC Complaint and Press Release 7716-18).
The Order finds that from September 29, 2015, through at least August 17, 2016, Antonovich fraudulently solicited and received hundreds of thousands of dollars from more than 150 pool participants in connection with pooled investments in off-exchange binary options. The Order further finds that Antonovich misappropriated more than $100,000 of pool participant funds for business expenses and his personal use, made false and misleading representations to pool participants, and fabricated documents purporting to show funds available for return to pool participants.
The Order also finds that Antonovich told pool participants that his trading for the pool would occur on a CFTC-registered exchange when, in fact, all trading occurred on offshore platforms and that Antonovich issued numerous updates to pool participants falsely claiming that his trading for the pool was profitable. In addition, the Order finds that when pool participants sought payouts from the pool, Antonovich falsely claimed that funds were available to be paid out and fabricated trading account and bank documents to give pool participants the false impression that funds were available to satisfy not only return of principal funds, but also payment of purported profits.
The CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this action are James Garcia, Kevin Samuel, Alison B. Wilson, and Rick Glaser.
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CFTC’s Commodity Pool Fraud Advisory
The CFTC has issued several customer protection Fraud Advisories that provide the warning signs of fraud, including the Commodity Pool Fraud Advisory, which warns customers about a type of fraud that involves individuals and firms, often unregistered, offering investments in commodity pools.
Also, before investing or trading with a firm, check the firm’s registration status and disciplinary history, if registered, with the National Futures Association. A company’s registration status can be found at: www.nfa.futures.org/basicnet.
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.