The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has announced that a judge issued an order against Todd Owen Marshall and his companies Harvard Assets, London Assets and Harvard International Trading, Inc. The judgement mandates that the defendants pay disgorgement totaling $612,892 and a civil monetary penalty totaling $1,838,676.
The order also imposes permanent trading, solicitation, and registration bans against the defendants and prohibits them from violating provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).
Back in September 2015, the U.S. regulator filed a complaint resulting from the actions of Todd Owen Marshall and his companies.
Between July 16th 2011 and April 30th, 2012 Harvard International and Marshall managed to convince at least 42 retail clients to bet on the prices of precious metals. The actions of the companies netted at least 241 transactions and the firms accepted deposits to the tune of $1.5 million.
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The entities acted as Futures Commission Merchants without the appropriate authorizations from U.S. regulators. Between September 2012 and March 2013, Harvard Assets, London Assets, and Marshall managed to convince another 14 retail clients to deposit $231,963, which were used to engage in at least 48 leveraged, margined, or financed precious metals transactions.
disgorgement orders may not result in the recovery of money lost
The regulator framework in the U.S. which was established in the aftermath of the financial crisis has prevented retail clients from off-exchange leveraged, margined, or financed transactions in precious metals, unless they result in actual delivery of metal within 28 days.
The value of the transactions totaled $4.3 million worth of metals, with Harvard International and London Assets receiving over $600,000 in commissions from the clients.
With the court judging that the firms acted as FCMs without appropriate registration, Marshall is liable for their violations.
The U.S. regulator highlights in its official communique on the matter that “disgorgement orders may not result in the recovery of money lost because the wrongdoers may not have sufficient funds or assets.”