The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced late last week that under its Rules of Practice it has declined to review a decision entered by a Judgement Officer revoking the commodity trading adviser (CTA) registration of Pro Trading Course LLC.
This has resulted in a final order which cannot be overturned.
The CFTC took this final decision after it was submitted for review on December 14, 2012, and is the latest in a series of enforcements which have been applied to Pro Trading Course in recent times. A case was brought against Pro Trading Course LLC in December 2011, wherby the Chicago based company was charged with fraudulently soliciting the public to enroll in a commodity futures program.
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That specific complaint alleged that Pro Trading Course solicited clients for its training program through the use of employment advertisements placed on Craig’s List and other websites. After individuals responded to the employment advertisements, Pro Trading Course and its sole principal Richard Regan allegedly used false and misleading promotional material and sales solicitations that overstated the advancement opportunity and profit potential of the commodity futures training program Pro Trading Course was selling. The defendants’ promotional material and solicitations also allegedly failed to disclose that no Pro Trading Course commodity futures trader ever advanced beyond Level 1 of the program or received the large monthly profit distributions depicted on Pro Trading Course’s “Payout Charts.”
Subsequent to that, Judge James B Zagel of the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ordered defendants Richard C. Regan and Pro Trading Course LLC to pay in excess of $600,000 in restitution and civil monetary penalties for the settlement of CFTC anti-fraud action in the summer of 2012.
In this latest ruling, the Judgment Officer’s decision, entered on December 14, 2012, finds that Pro Trading Course failed to file an answer to the formal notice that the CFTC made to the company on September 20, 2012, of the CFTC’s intent to revoke the company’s registration. The decision also finds that the factual grounds supporting the revocation are deemed to be true – in particular, that a Default Judgment Order entered by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against PTC on May 29, 2012, which found that PTC violated the anti-fraud provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and permanently enjoined PTC from engaging in fraudulent conduct in violation of the CEA, provided a valid basis for revoking PTC’s CTA registration.