Release Number 8547-22

CFTC Orders Starberry Limited to Pay Over $1.37 Million for Failing to Register as a Futures Commission Merchant

June 24, 2022

— The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today issued an order simultaneously filing and settling charges against Starberry Limited for acting as a futures commission merchant (FCM) without being registered. Specifically, Starberry accepted and placed orders and accepted money in connection with those orders from a foreign customer for NYMEX West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures contracts.

The order requires Starberry to pay a $1,376,206.81 civil monetary penalty and cease and desist from violating Section 4d(a)(1) of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), 7 U.S.C. § 6d(a)(1).  Starberry also agrees to disgorge $1,376,206.81 in commission and fees it unlawfully earned by acting as an FCM without registration.

Acting Director of Enforcement Director Gretchen Lowe said, “The CFTC will continue to vigilantly investigate and prosecute those who act as FCMs without first registering.”

Case Background

The order specifically finds that from February 28, 2020 through March 17, 2020, while not registered in any capacity, Starberry accepted more than $400 million from a foreign customer and deposited that money in Starberry’s proprietary trading account. Starberry then executed more than 12,500 NYMEX WTI trades in March 2020, which resulted in more than $86 million in profits for the foreign customer and $1,376,206.81 in commission and fees for Starberry.

The order recognizes respondent’s substantial cooperation in the form of a substantially reduced penalty.

The Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Dmitriy Vilenskiy, Saadeh Al-Jurf, Christine Ryall, and Paul G. Hayeck.

The CFTC 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 company. 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 CFTC Whistleblower Office . Whistleblowers are eligible to receive between 10 and 30 percent of the monetary sanctions collected paid from the CFTC Customer Protection Fund financed through monetary sanctions paid to the CFTC by violators of the CEA.