Release: 5790-10
For Release: March 9, 2010

Federal Court Orders California Man David Michael Kogan and His Company, First Capitol Futures Group, to Pay More than $20.3 Million in CFTC Commodity Options Fraud Action

Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that it obtained more than $20.3 million in civil monetary penalties and equity relief in a federal judgment order against David Michael Kogan and his company, First Capitol Futures Group (a/k/a and d/b/a First Capital Group), both of Sherman Oaks, Calif., in a CFTC anti-fraud action.

The order, entered by U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, stems from CFTC charges filed against the defendants in 2009 for operating a fraudulent commodity options scheme (see CFTC Press Release 5675-09, July 9, 2009).

Specifically, the order finds that the defendants operated a fraudulent investment scheme involving 58 customers and causing more than $3 million in customer losses. The order requires Kogan and First Capitol Futures Group to each pay a $7,540,000 civil monetary penalty and to pay, jointly and severally, restitution totaling $3,064,061. The order also requires the defendants to disgorge more than $2.2 million collected as commissions and fees during the scheme and permanently bans them from the futures industry.

According to the order, during 2007 and 2008, the defendants fraudulently solicited members of the public to trade options on commodity futures contracts by misrepresenting and failing to disclose material facts concerning (1) the likelihood that a customer would realize large profits from trading options, (2) the risk involved in trading options, (3) the existence of certain options positions in customer accounts and (4) the dismal performance record of First Capitol customers trading options.

As part of the investment scheme, Kogan and other First Capitol brokers repeatedly misrepresented to customers that they would make substantial amounts of money in a very short time trading options and routinely failed to disclose the risks inherent in trading options. The order also finds that of the more than $3 million dollars that customers lost, $2.2 million was commissions and fees charged by defendants.

The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this case: Jeff Le Riche, Jennifer Chapin, Peter Riggs, Michael Loconte, Jo Mettenburg, Rick Glaser and Richard Wagner.

Media Contacts
Scott Schneider

Dennis Holden

Last Updated: April 2, 2010