Release: 5260-06

For Release: November 30, 2006

U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Charges Chicago Resident Peter D. Hoffman with Defrauding Commodity Futures Customers

Conduct Violates Prior Order against Hoffman Prohibiting Him from Engaging in Certain Commodity Related Activities

Washington, D.C.— The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today the filing of a civil action on November 28, 2006, in the Northern District of Illinois against Peter D. Hoffman, currently residing in Chicago, Illinois, for fraudulently soliciting potential customers and opening discretionary trading accounts, acting as an unregistered Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA), and violating an order entered by the CFTC against him in In the Matter of Peter D. Hoffman, 1823 Forest Ridge Drive Colorado Springs, Colorado, CFTC Docket No. 99-9 (March 30, 1999) by, among other things, trading for his personal commodity futures accounts and directing the trading in other accounts (See CFTC Press Release 4249-99, March 31, 1999).

In March 1999, the CFTC issued an order imposing sanctions upon Hoffman based on findings that Hoffman had fraudulently marketed a commodity trading system while acting as an unregistered CTA in violation of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations. That order required Hoffman to cease and desist from making false representations, prohibited him from trading on contract markets for himself or on behalf of anyone else for a period of five years, and prohibited him from ever applying for registration with the CFTC in any capacity and from ever engaging in any activity requiring registration.

According to the November 28, 2006, complaint, Hoffman violated the CEA, CFTC regulations, and the March 1999 order against him by violating the trading prohibition, fraudulently soliciting customers, and continuing to act as an unregistered CTA. Specifically, the complaint alleges that, since at least February 2000 and continuing through April 2004, Hoffman circumvented the trading prohibition against him by funding and/or directing trading in a series of commodity futures accounts. The complaint further alleges that, during that same time period and thereafter, Hoffman defrauded his clients by falsely claiming he was a successful trader, failing to disclose the prior CFTC order against him, and acting as a commodity trading advisor without the benefit of CFTC registration.

Court Freezes Assets and Bars Destruction of Books and Records

On November 29th, the Honorable Judge Joan H. Lefkow of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois issued an order freezing Hoffman’s assets and prohibiting him from destroying books and records. Judge Lefkow has set a hearing on the CFTC’s motion for preliminary injunction in the matter for December 5th.

In its ongoing litigation, the CFTC is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, repayment of customer losses, and payment of monetary penalties.

The following Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this case: Jennifer S. Diamond, Susan J. Gradman, Thomas Koprowski, Scott R. Williamson, Rosemary Hollinger, and Richard Wagner.

Media Contacts
Alan Sobba

Dennis Holden

Last Updated: April 22, 2010