Release Number 8414-21

CFTC Charges Nebraska Commodity Pool Operator and its Owner with Fraud and Regulatory Violations

August 17, 2021

— The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced that it has filed a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska against commodity pool operator (CPO) Centurion Capital Management, Inc. (Centurion), and its owner, Terry M. Svejda (Svejda) of Blair, Nebraska. The complaint alleges that Centurion and Svejda engaged in commodity pool fraud in connection with commodity futures trading, in that he fraudulently misappropriated participant funds and made false or misleading statements about how their funds would be invested in the commodity pool.

In litigation, the CFTC seeks restitution, disgorgement, civil monetary penalties, trading and registration bans and injunctions against further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations, as charged.

Case Background

The complaint alleges that beginning in at least 2012, and continuing through the present, Centurion and Svejda solicited approximately $790,000 from approximately 27 persons to invest in a commodity pool that would use pool funds to invest in exchange-traded commodity futures contracts. However, the defendants failed to invest participant funds, and misappropriated more than 80 percent of the pool’s assets. 

The complaint also charges Centurion and Svejda for multiple regulatory violations. Centurion is charged with failing to register with the CFTC as a CPO, commingling pool participant funds, and failing to provide required disclosure documents. Svejda is charged with failing to register as an associated person of Centurion. 

The complaint also charges Svejda with liability for all of Centurion’s misappropriations and misrepresentations as a controlling person who knowingly induced the violations or did not act in good faith. Additionally, Centurion is charged with liability for Svejda’s violations of the CEA and CFTC regulations, as such violations occurred within the scope of his employment, office, or agency with Centurion.

The CFTC acknowledges and appreciates the cooperation and assistance of the National Futures Association.

The Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this action are Glenn Chernigoff, Michael Loconte, Aimée Latimer-Zayets, Erica Bodin and Rick Glaser.

CFTC’s Commodity Pool Fraud Advisory

The CFTC has issued several customer protection Fraud Advisories, including the Commodity Pool Fraud Advisory, which warns customers about a type of fraud involving individuals and firms, often unregistered, offering investments in commodity pools.

The CFTC also strongly urges the public to verify a company’s registration with the CFTC before committing funds. If unregistered, a customer should be wary of providing funds to that entity. A company’s registration status can be found using NFA BASIC.

Customers and other individuals can report suspicious activities or information, such as possible violations of commodity trading laws, to the Division of Enforcement via a toll-free hotline 866-FON-CFTC (866-366-2382), file a tip or complaint online or contact the Whistleblower Office. Whistleblowers are eligible to receive between 10 and 30 percent of the monetary sanctions collected paid from the Customer Protection Fund financed through monetary sanctions paid to the CFTC by violators of the CEA.