The online brokerage and Liverpool Football Club sponsor Banc De Binary has reached an $11 million settlement with US authorities after several years of investigations over it illegally providing binary options trading to US customers.
Following a multi-year investigation a number of charges hit Banc De Binary from the CFTC in 2013, and now the company has reached a settlement with US authorities agreeing to pay $7.1 million in restitution and disgorgement, $2 million in civil penalties to the CFTC, and $1.95 million in civil penalties to the US SEC.
This is according to filings this week in a Nevada Court, including dockets 156 and 160, after docket 147 was filed on February 16, 2016 in the United States District Court, Nevada District.
According to people close to the developments, the judgements issued under docket 156 and 160 have been finalized (for the amounts mentioned above) while the agencies have not yet published their respective press releases as the judges for each stipulated case still need to sign-off on the plan for distribution (under docket 155).
The distribution will happen through a fund that will be created for $9 million of the settlement money for the CFTC and SEC cases, with the press releases to follow shortly from each regulator in the coming days ahead. The SEC had no comments.
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The broker had been allegedly soliciting US customers with binary options and related contracts on CFDs and forex products between 2011 and 2013, circumventing a U.S. prohibition on OTC binary options contracts. The company had a supposed ‘virtual office’ while its office address was listed in the Trump Towers in New York on its website.
Banc De Binary said it neither admits nor denies the allegations, common language used in settlements with both the SEC and CFTC (as well as in NFA related cases).
A company spokesperson said “We look forward to putting this behind us,” while thanking the agencies, according to coverage by WSJ. The company’s founder Oren Laurent will pay $150,000 as part of the settlement.
The news follows CySEC’s recent fine for 350,000 euros requiring Banc De Binary to pay up again, as covered by Finance Magnates, after the Cyprus regulator said it was preparing to issue more monetary penalty enforcements.