The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that a California court has ordered Ralph Metters to pay a $500,000 penalty resulting from fraudulent gains in connection with off-exchange foreign currency (forex) violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).
The court order has also permanently prohibited Metters, also known as Malachai “Moe” Levy, from further violations of the CEA and has imposed permanent trading and registration bans on him.
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The decision stems from a CFTC enforcement complaint filed on 20 August, 2014 charging Metters with fraudulently soliciting $500,000 from a member of the public in connection with off-exchange forex transactions commencing in October 2013.
Metters was said to have falsely represented to investors that he would use their money to engage in forex investments which would be kept in escrow until they authorised its use. Victims accordingly invested at least $745,000.
However, Metters withdrew the invested amount out of escrow without investors’ permission and knowingly misappropriated the funds.
In a related criminal action, Metters recently pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He was sentenced in May 2016 to 9 years imprisonment, and ordered to reimburse the victim with $500,000, as well as additional restitution to other victims of other criminal violations.