Release Number 8910-24

Miami Federal Court Orders Multiple Individuals and Entities to Pay Over $225 Million for Foreign Currency Fraud and Misappropriation Scheme

Federal Court Also Orders Georgia-based Certified Public Accountant to Pay $467,000 in Monetary Sanctions to Settle Charges for His Involvement in the Fraud

May 14, 2024

— The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced the Honorable Darrin P. Gayles of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida issued an order of default judgment against four individuals and five companies (nine defendants): Jase Davis of Brandon, Mississippi; Borys Konovalenko of Ukraine; Anna Shymko of Duluth, Georgia; Alla Skala of Grand Island, New York and/or Fort Erie, Canada; Easy Com LLC d/b/a ROFX, a New Hampshire LLC; Global E-Advantages LLC a/k/a Kickmagic LLC d/b/a ROFX, a Delaware LLC and New York foreign LLC; Grovee LLC d/b/a ROFX, a Delaware LLC; Notus LLC d/b/a ROFX, a dissolved Colorado LLC; and Shopostar LLC d/b/a ROFX, a Colorado LLC.

The default judgment order stems from the CFTC’s August 31, 2022 amended complaint charging the nine defendants and defendant Timothy F. Stubbs with fraud, misappropriation, and registration violations in connection with a fraudulent foreign currency (forex) scheme. [See CFTC Press Release Nos. 8486-22 and 8790-23.]

The default judgment order, issued April 22 finds the nine defendants liable for all violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations alleged in the amended complaint, including fraud involving forex transactions which resulted in the misappropriation of over $57 million of customer funds. Under the terms of the default judgment order, the nine defendants are required to pay jointly and severally over $56 million in restitution to defrauded customers and a $169,086,837 civil monetary penalty. The default judgment order also permanently enjoins them from engaging in conduct that violates the CEA, as charged, and permanently bans them from registering with the CFTC and from trading in any CFTC-regulated markets.  

On May 8, the court also issued a supplemental consent order against the remaining defendant, Timothy F. Stubbs, a certified public accountant and resident of Atlanta, Georgia. The supplemental consent order requires Stubbs to pay a $314,000 civil monetary penalty and $153,000 in restitution. Previously, on December 19, 2023, the court entered an initial consent order of permanent injunction against Stubbs. The initial consent order finds Stubbs engaged in fraud and participated in the common enterprise through his control and operation of Grovee LLC, including accepting and misappropriating customer funds intended for forex trading. The initial consent order imposes a permanent injunction and permanent trading, solicitation, and registration bans against Stubbs. 

The default judgment order against the nine defendants and supplemental consent order against Stubbs resolve the CFTC’s lawsuit against all of the defendants.

Case Background

The default judgment order against the nine defendants and initial consent order against Stubbs both find from January 2018 through September 2021, the five companies, acting as a common enterprise under the control of the five individual defendants, used the website to fraudulently solicit and misappropriate at least $57.5 million from U.S. and international customers for purported trading in forex. The defendants obtained customers through the ROFX website, wherein ROFX falsely claimed to trade forex utilizing a highly successful automated trading robot with guaranteed coverage of losses. The default judgment order and consent order also find the defendants misappropriated all of the customer funds they accepted into the defendant companies’ bank accounts by wiring the funds to offshore entities with no connection to forex trading and to the individual defendants’ personal accounts. 

In addition to their misrepresentations and misappropriation, the default judgment order and consent order find the five companies acted as futures commission merchants by doing business as ROFX, soliciting or accepting orders for retail forex transactions via the ROFX website, and accepting funds in or in connection with such transactions without being registered with the CFTC.

The CFTC acknowledges and thanks the Alabama Securities Commission, Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office (Securities Division), Rankin County (Mississippi) Sheriff’s Office, and Oregon Division of Financial Regulation for their assistance in this matter. 

The Division of Enforcement staff responsible for this case are Danielle Karst, Timothy J. Mulreany, George H. Malas, Kelly Makimoto-Murphy, Chrystal Gonnella, and Paul G. Hayeck.

CFTC’s Forex Fraud Advisory

The CFTC has issued several customer protection Fraud Advisories and Articles that provide the warning signs of fraud, including the Foreign Currency Trading (Forex) Fraud Advisory, which alerts customers to forex fraud and lists simple ways to spot forex 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 WhistleblowerOffice.  Whistleblowers may be eligible to receive between 10 and 30 percent of the monetary sanctions collected, paid from the Customer Protection Fund financed through monetary sanctions paid to the CFTC by violators of the CEA.