Release Number 8621-22

CFTC Penalizes and Permanently Bans Texan from Trading and Registration for Virtual Currencies Fraud

November 04, 2022

Washington, D.C. – The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced it has issued an order simultaneously filing and settling charges against Jeremey Rounsville, a/k/a David Peterson, of Texas. The order requires Rounsville to pay a $177,000 civil monetary penalty, permanently bans him from soliciting or trading in commodity interests and virtual currencies, or registering with the CFTC in any capacity, and requires him to cease and desist from any further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations, as charged. 

Case Background

The order finds from approximately May 2018 to 2019, Rounsville participated in a fraudulent scheme involving a website platform engaged in alleged managed virtual currency trading. According to the order, Rounsville knowingly or recklessly misrepresented that he was the Chief Executive Officer of the website and fraudulently solicited customers on its behalf. 

The order further finds Rounsville’s solicitation included claims the website would take advantage of arbitrage opportunities across virtual currency trading platforms to lock in immediate profits for its customers. The order also finds he claimed the website had developed a “highly advanced arbitrage bot” to engage in what was self-described as seamless automated arbitrage trading. However, those claims were fraudulent. The supposed bot, called the “aBOT,” never executed trades on behalf of customers. Ultimately, customers were unable to make withdrawals and as a result lost their invested funds.

Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Michael Cazakoff, Janine Gargiulo, K. Brent Tomer, Lenel Hickson, Jr., and Manal M. Sultan.