Release Number 8767-23

CFTC Orders Texas Trading Advisor and His Company to Pay Approximately $250,000 for Fraudulent Solicitation and Failure to Register

August 15, 2023

Washington, D.C. — The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today issued an order filing and simultaneously settling charges against Peter L. Bryant of Texas and his company, Bryant Capital Trade Management Corporation (Bryant Capital), a registered Texas entity, for committing fraud while acting as an unregistered commodity trading advisor (CTA) and for failing to register as a CTA. 

The order requires Bryant and Bryant Capital to pay, jointly and severally, $55,655.90 in restitution and a $195,000 civil monetary penalty, and to cease and desist from any further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations, as charged. In addition, the order imposes four-year trading and registration bans on Bryant and Bryant Capital.

Case Background

According to the order, beginning approximately February 2014 and continuing through approximately December 2022, Bryant and Bryant Capital acted as unregistered CTAs through direct outreach, electronic communications, newsletters, and web-based advertisements. Such solicitations offered advice regarding the value and advisability of trading in commodity options, futures, and/or swaps in energy markets and promoted respondents’ paid trading advisory services.

According to the order, these solicitations included numerous false and misleading statements regarding their business and performance, their expertise and experience in the energy derivatives markets, client base, past performance, as well as the applicability of the CFTC’s registration requirements to their business. For example, in one newsletter, respondents falsely represented that in 2021, they provided services to 47 clients with “proprietary - detailed analyses and made countless recommendations,” and that in 44 of these 47 analyses, their work had “identified performance markers resulting in a 27%-39% reduction in 2021 energy costs (the proper term here is ‘avoidance of increased costs’) in addition to showing a minimum 5% immediate reduction in current energy costs within the first 90 days of engagement.”

To the contrary, as found in the order, these representations were entirely fabricated. The respondents also falsely represented their business was operating as an “exempt swap intermediary” that did not require CFTC registration.  

The order finds the respondents’ misrepresentations regarding their business and services resulted in at least $55,655.90 in client losses. 

The CFTC cautions orders requiring payment of funds to victims may not result in the recovery of any money lost because wrongdoers may not have sufficient funds or assets. The CFTC will continue to fight vigorously for the protection of customers and to ensure the wrongdoers are held accountable.

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

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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 may be 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.