The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has stepped up its game against off-exchange binary options providers. The watchdog has frozen the assets of the founder of Vision Financial Partners, Neil Pecker, after charging him and his company with soliciting almost $3 million from 120 clients.
The move comes amid increased scrutiny in the U.S. against providers of off-exchange binary options. CFTC has highlighted in its announcement that the alleged perpetrators of the fraud related to providing trading with off-exchange binary options contracts misappropriated about $2 million for personal use.
In a first drastic action against a binary options introducing broker operating in the U.S. and Canada, CFTC has also named a number of relief defendants in the case – Prometheus Enterprises, Westward International Coucarin Holdings and GDCM Trust.
U.S. and Canadian residents were solicited to open accounts with offshore brokers
While numerous warnings have been filed by Canadian financial regulatory agencies against a number of firms operating illegally in the country, this is the first case where the perpetrators of the violation have allegedly been successfully identified by the regulators and charged with fraud.
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Six days ago, the British Colombia Securities Commission warned against the actions of Vision Trading Advisors (VTA). The company claimed on its website to be located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and solicited a Canadian resident to open an account with Binex Markets which claims on its website to be located in London.
Neil Pecker and his company Vision Financial Partners have managed to solicit $3 million
VTA instructed the Canadian resident to send his funds to the bank account of Vision Financial Partners. By diverting funds to their own and the accounts of the secondary defendants, the alleged perpetrator of the scheme Neil Pecker and his company Vision Financial Partners have managed to solicit the above mentioned $3 million.
Both defendants in this case have falsely claimed to be licensed as Commodity Trading Advisors (CTAs).
The CFTC has worked on the case in close cooperation with several financial regulators including the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and several Canadian and offshore regulators.