Release Number 8795-23
CFTC Charges Florida Man and His Company in Connection with a Foreign Currency Fraudulent Solicitation Scheme
September 29, 2023
Washington, D.C. — The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced it filed a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Roberto Pulido aka Berto Delvanicci (Pulido) and his company, Lions of Forex LLC (LOF), both of Miami, Florida, charging Pulido with fraudulently solicited at least four clients to trade leveraged or margined retail off-exchange foreign currency (forex). LOF aided and abetted in the fraudulent scheme.
In its continuing litigation, the CFTC seeks full restitution, disgorgement of any ill-gotten gains, a civil monetary penalty, permanent registration and trading bans, and a permanent injunction against future violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations, as charged.
According to the complaint, from approximately January 2019 to approximately March 2021, Pulido, aided by LOF, fraudulently solicited clients to trade leveraged or margined retail off-exchange forex on their behalf.
A number of clients subscribed (aka “subscribers”) to a retail forex signals trading service LOF offered that would send signals to buy or sell retail forex for a monthly fee, and, for a higher monthly fee, offered live one-on-one training with Pulido. LOF offered this signals trading service through its website which touted Pulido as a “7 figure trader.” Pulido, in various social media platforms claimed to have made significant profits trading retail forex. After a number of prospective clients were identified through LOF’s signals subscriptions, Pulido made various material misrepresentations and omissions to the clients, including falsely representing to clients they would earn guaranteed monthly profits by having Pulido use his discretion to trade retail forex on their behalf, and clients could withdraw their funds at any time. However, Pulido failed to pay the promised monthly returns and when clients requested their funds, Pulido did not return a significant portion of the clients’ funds.
As alleged in the complaint, LOF aided Pulido’s fraud by, among other things, receiving client funds into its own bank accounts; allowing Pulido to use the accounts in connection with his fraudulent scheme; touting Pulido’s supposed trading expertise on the LOF website; and using the LOF email address to communicate with clients who Pulido defrauded.
The complaint further alleges, by this conduct, Pulido and LOF accepted approximately $175,000 from at least four clients and did not return approximately $170,000 to clients despite repeated client requests.
The CFTC cautions victims that restitution orders may not result in the recovery of money lost, because the wrongdoers may not have sufficient funds or assets.
The CFTC appreciates the assistance of the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, the Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission, and the Financial Services Authority of St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
The Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this action include Elizabeth C. Brennan, Steven I. Ringer, David MacGregor, Lenel Hickson and Manal S. Sultan.
CFTC’s Commodity Fraud Advisory
The CFTC has issued several customer protection Fraud Advisories that provide the warning signs of fraud, including the Foreign Currency (Forex) Trading Fraud Advisory, to help customers identify this sort of scam.
The CFTC also strongly urges the public to verify a company’s registration with the Commission before committing funds. If unregistered, a customer should be wary of providing funds to that entity. 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) or 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 and paid to the CFTC by violators of the CEA.