Release Number 8496-22

CFTC Orders North Carolina Man and His Company to Pay $2.6 Million for Fraudulent Solicitation, Pool Fraud, and Failure to Register

February 23, 2022

Washington, D.C. — The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today issued an order simultaneously filing and settling charges against Richard D. Neal of North Carolina and his company Golden Signals LLC, a formerly registered North Carolina limited liability company, for engaging in fraud while acting as a commodity trading advisor (CTA) and commodity pool operator (CPO), for failing to register as a CTA and CPO, and for advertising without making disclosures required by CFTC regulations. 

The order requires Neal and Golden Signals LLC to pay $409,965 in restitution, $896,673 in disgorgement, a $1,306,638 civil monetary penalty, and to cease and desist from any further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) or CFTC regulations, as charged. In addition, the order imposes a permanent ban on Neal and Golden Signals LLC from trading on, or trading subject to, the rules of any CFTC-registered entity and from engaging in any activities requiring CFTC registration. The order also requires that Neal and Golden Signals LLC comply with their undertaking by never, directly or indirectly, entering into any transactions involving commodity interests.

Case Background

According to the order, from approximately October 2016 through at least November 2021, Neal and Golden Signals LLC engaged in binary options solicitation and trading fraud through the operation of two webpages and related social media channels on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

In soliciting for their CTA and CPO business, Neal and Golden Signals LLC made numerous false statements, including falsely stating that Neal had “been consistently winning with one of the highest profit percentage ratings in the world” and that customers could “go to the Products page and pick up one of his strategies that earn him on average $500-$1,000 a day.” The solicitations promised that “as long as traders follow the Golden Signals their money will grow.” Contrary to the advertised claims, Neal had an overall losing trading record and was not a successful trader. The solicitations also provided client testimonials and depicted training videos created using “demo” trading accounts without being accompanied by the disclosures required under CFTC regulations.

The order further finds that 10 pool participants lost approximately $410,000 in a managed account trading pool, while approximately 1,600 customers were cheated out of at least $896,673 through the fraudulent solicitations for binary options signals, trainings, and strategy course offerings.

The CFTC thanks and acknowledges the assistance of Nadex.

The Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Nina Ruvinsky, Heather Dasso, Allison Passman, Scott Williamson, and Robert Howell.

CFTC’s Commodity Pool and Forex Fraud Advisories

The CFTC has issued several customer protection Fraud Advisories and Articles that provide the warning signs of fraud, including the Commodity Pool Fraud Advisory and the Binary Options and Fraud Advisory, which alert customers to these types of fraud and list simple ways to spot them.

The CFTC also strongly urges the public to verify a company’s or individual’s registration with the CFTC before committing funds. If unregistered, a customer should be wary of providing funds to that company or individual. A company’s or individual’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.