Release Number 8771-23
CFTC Charges “My Forex Funds” with Fraudulently Taking Over $300 Million From Customers Hoping to Become Professional Traders
Court Issues Restraining Order Instituting Asset Freeze
September 01, 2023
Washington, D.C. — The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced it filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey against Murtuza Kazmi, formerly of Phillipsburg, New Jersey, and his companies, Traders Global Group Inc., a New Jersey corporation and Traders Global Group Inc., a Canadian business organization, all doing business as “My Forex Funds.” The complaint charges them with fraudulently soliciting customers to trade leveraged, margined, or financed retail foreign exchange (retail forex), and leveraged retail commodity transactions.
On August 29, U.S. District Court Judge Robert B. Kugler signed a statutory restraining order freezing the defendants’ assets; requiring the defendants to submit their books and records to examination by the CFTC; and appointing a temporary receiver. A hearing on the CFTC’s motion for preliminary injunction is scheduled for September 11 before Judge Zahid N. Quraishi in Trenton, N.J.
In its continuing litigation, the CFTC seeks restitution to defrauded investors, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil monetary penalties, permanent trading and registration bans, and a permanent injunction against further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).
“The CFTC’s case against the ‘My Forex Funds’ defendants is emblematic of our commitment to stamping out retail fraud in our markets,” said Director of Enforcement Ian McGinley. “Anyone offering or entering into leveraged retail forex contracts without registration, or offering or entering into leveraged retail commodity contracts off-exchange, is acting in clear violation of the law.”
According to the complaint, the defendants, doing business as “My Forex Funds,” supposedly offered retail customers the opportunity to become “professional traders” by using Traders Global’s money to trade against third-party “liquidity providers” and share in any trading profits. They assured customers that “your success is our business,” and “we only make money when you do.” But, in reality, Traders Global—not a third-party “liquidity provider”—is the counterparty to substantially all customer trades.
The complaint also alleges that Traders Global actively minimizes the likelihood that customers trade profitably by using pretexts to terminate customer accounts, misleadingly assessing commissions that reduce customer account equity, secretly using specialized software to cause customer orders to be executed at worse prices than appeared to the customer at the time an order was sent, and handicapping the extremely small number of successful customers to decrease customer profits and increase customer losses.
As the complaint noted, the Traders Global pitch has been successful, and more than 135,000 customers have signed up for their trading program since November 2021, paying at last $310 million in fees. The complaint alleges Kazmi used proceeds from the fraud to purchase luxury homes and automobiles, and make tens of millions of dollars in transfers to his personal accounts.
Related International Action
In a separate action, on August 29, the Ontario Securities Commission issued a temporary cease trade order that includes a prohibition against all trading in any securities by Traders Global Group Inc. and Murtuza Kazmi.
The CFTC appreciates the assistance of the Ontario Securities Commission.
The Division of Enforcement staff responsible for this matter are Ashley J. Burden, Katherine Paulson, Matthew Edelstein, Stacie Pan, Elizabeth M. Streit, Scott Williamson and Robert Howell.
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CFTC Fraud Advisories
The CFTC has issued several customer protection Fraud Advisories and Articles that provide information about how customers can detect, avoid, and report scams.
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 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 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.