A Summary of Remarks by CFTC Chairman James E. Newsome at the August 26, 2003, Joint CFTC-NFA Press Briefing to Announce News Rules to Combat Fraud in the Retail Off-Exchange Forex Market

National Futures Association (NFA) President and Chief Executive Officer Daniel J. Roth (on the left) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman James E. Newsome Before the Joint Press Briefing Session Held August 26, 2003, at the CFTC's Washington, D.C., Headquarters.

NFA President and CEO Daniel J. Roth at the Podium Addressing Members of the Media, August 26, 2003.

CFTC Chairman Newsome at the Podium Addressing Members of the Media, August 26, 2003.

NFA President and CEO Daniel J. Roth and CFTC Chairman James E. Newsome Answer Questions From Members of the Media, August 26, 2003.

We are holding this joint press briefing with the National Futures Association to discuss the positive forex clarification in the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (CFMA) and the recently approved NFA rules designed to address customer protection issues in the retail off-exchange foreign currency (forex) futures and options market.

Before the CFMA was enacted in December 2000, federal case law had clouded the issue of whether the Commission had jurisdiction to prosecute those who operated illegal, off-exchange foreign currency businesses, or who defrauded customers in off-exchange forex trading. Congress, in passing the CFMA, clarified our jurisdiction giving us explicit, affirmative jurisdiction over these foreign currency transactions.

We are here today here to discuss the partnership and cooperation between the NFA and the CFTC, which has benefited from this clarified authority and has allowed us to aggressively crack down on illegal forex bucket shops.

Since the passage of the CFMA, the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement has filed 41 forex cases in eleven states: 14 in Florida; 10 in California; 6 in New York; 3 in Georgia; 2 in Utah; and one each in Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. The defendants in these actions scammed approximately 3,400 retail investors.

Our Enforcement Division received cooperative assistance in most of these actions from the NFA, as well as from a number of state authorities, including: the Florida Comptroller's Office, Georgia’s Secretary of State and Office of Consumer Affairs, the Utah Department of Securities, the New York Attorney General's Office, North Carolina’s Secretary of State (Securities Division), the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (Division of Finance and Corporate Securities), the Louisiana Attorney General's Office and the Louisiana Department of Justice, the Palm Beach County Florida Police Department, and the Broward County Florida Sheriff's Office. We have also received cooperative enforcement assistance from various federal authorities, including: the United States Attorneys’ offices in Portland, Oregon, North Carolina, the Northern District of Georgia, and Florida; the Postal Inspectors’ offices in New York and Florida; the FBI’s offices in Florida, California, Georgia, Oregon, and Ohio; the IRS Office in Portland, Oregon; and the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

As a result of these CFTC prosecutions, the defendants were hit with large penalties. Civil monetary penalties levied thus far total nearly $93 million. The cumulative restitution and disgorgement amounts imposed total nearly $74.4 million. In sum, the sanctions against forex defendants amount to nearly $167.4 million.

See CFTC Press Release 4833-03 for more information.