Washington, DC (STL.News) The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced the filing of charges against 20 entities for making false and misleading claims of having CFTC registration and National Futures Association (NFA) membership required to offer services related to trading in foreign exchange (forex), digital assets, and derivatives.  Each complaint seeks orders directing the entities to cease and desist from committing violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations.

“Today’s actions are the latest examples of the CFTC’s efforts to aggressively root out fraud and bad actors involved in our markets,” said Division of Enforcement Director James McDonald. “As these actions show, the CFTC will act decisively to prevent false claims of CFTC or NFA registration.”

The CFTC 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. More information can be found at cftc.gov/check.

False Claims of CFTC Registration and NFA Membership

The CFTC’s complaints allege that the 15 entities listed below falsely claimed to be registered with the CFTC and NFA while offering services related to trading in futures or other derivatives:

  • 10 of the complaints charge identical false claims made by entities allegedly located in Walsall, United Kingdom: Bitfx24option.com, Fidelityfxtrade.com, Granttradefx.com, iMarketsserviceFX.com, Toptradecapitalfx.com, Westtechtrade.com, Westintrade.com, Yobcryptotrade24.com, Zenithoptionstrade.net, and Zenithtradermarkets.com.  All 10 falsely claimed on their websites that the entity “is a registered FCM and RFED with the CFTC and member of the [NFA]” and provided a NFA ID.  As alleged in the complaints, these 10 entities have never been registered with NFA in any capacity, and according to a NFA database, the NFA ID identifies an individual who was once registered with the CFTC but died in 2009.
  • Sumtrades.com, allegedly located in Atlanta, Georgia, falsely claimed on its website that it “is a registered FCM and RFED with the CFTC and member of the [NFA]” and provided a NFA ID belonging to an individual who was once registered with the CFTC but died in 2009.  As alleged in the complaint, the entity has never been registered with NFA in any capacity.
  • Goldman Global Investment Funds Ltd., allegedly located in California and Hong Kong, misleadingly and falsely displayed on its website, the NFA logo and name, a NFA ID, and claimed to be supervised by the CFTC.  The NFA ID it used belongs to an entity with the same name that notified NFA that it operated an exempt commodity pool for which the claim of exemption was withdrawn earlier this year.
  • Merryl Morgan, allegedly located in New York, Hong Kong, and Singapore, falsely claimed on its website that it is a “registered FCM with the CFTC and NFA,” however, no such entity is registered with the CFTC or a member of NFA in any capacity.
  • Swiss FX Trade, allegedly located in New York City, falsely claimed on its website that it is a “registered FCM with the CFTC and NFA,” however, no such entity is registered with the CFTC or a member of NFA in any capacity.
  • Ultracapitals, allegedly located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, falsely claimed on its website that it is a “registered FCM with the CFTC and NFA,” however, no such entity is registered with the CFTC or a member of NFA in any capacity.

False or Misleading Claims of NFA Registration or Licensure

The CFTC’s complaints allege the three entities listed below made false or misleading claims of NFA registration or licensure:

  • Vertex Holdings Limited, allegedly founded in Moscow, Russia, but with no listed address, falsely claimed on its website that it is a Corporate Authorized Representative of its prime broker.  The entity also claimed that its prime broker is regulated by NFA and provided a NFA ID for the purported prime broker, however, the complaint says, this purported prime broker is not and has never been a NFA member.  Rather, the NFA ID that Vertex Holdings is using belongs to an entity that notified NFA it operated an exempt commodity pool for which the claim of exemption was withdrawn earlier this year.
  • United Financial Limited, allegedly located in Century City, California and at another address in an unspecified city and country, falsely claims on its website that it is “authorized and regulated by NFA” and lists a NFA ID, when in fact, it does not have and has never had, NFA membership.  Instead, an entity with the same name notified NFA that it operated an exempt commodity pool, obtained the same NFA ID, and that the claim of exemption was withdrawn earlier this year.
  • DST Clouds International Limited, allegedly located in the United Kingdom at a nonexistent address, falsely claimed that it is “authorized and regulated by NFA” and listed a NFA ID, when in fact, it is not, and has never had NFA membership.  Instead, an entity with the same name notified NFA that it operated an exempt commodity pool, obtained the same NFA ID, and that the claim of exemption was withdrawn earlier this year.

False or Misleading Claims Using NFA IDs Assigned to Other Registrants

The CFTC’s complaints allege that the two entities listed below made false or misleading claims of NFA registration by using the names or NFA IDs of properly registered NFA members:

Bullet Capital & Contract Occurrence Management Merchants, allegedly located in Fairfield, Connecticut and Kossldorf, Austria, falsely claimed that it is NFA-registered and provided a hyperlink to NFA’s BASIC database record for a registered commodity trading advisor with a similar name. However, the registered commodity trading advisor did not operate the entity or the website that made the misleading claims.

ESOM, allegedly a registered licensed corporation of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, displayed the text “National Futures Association regulation,” a NFA ID, and the name of the actual registered person associated with that NFA ID next to its logo and trade name at the top of pages on its website.  The name and NFA ID belong to a registered commodity pool operator that does not operate ESOM and is not being charged with any wrongdoing.

The Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Christopher Giglio, Elizabeth C. Brennan, David W. Oakland, Lara Turcik, K. Brent Tomer, Lenel Hickson, Jr., and Manal M. Sultan.

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