The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Bahamas-registered broker-dealer, MintBroker International Ltd., known by its tradename SureTrader, for illegally offering services in the United States.
The lawsuit was filed on Monday with a southern district Florida court also named Rico-based Guy Gentile, who is the Founder, owner and Chief Executive of the broker-dealer.
The 22-page long court filing detailed that the platform, which is not registered in the United States, was onboarding and serving US-based traders between March 2016 through to November 2019.
Bypassing the PDT Rules
The broker-dealer marketed its ability to help novice traders and offered pattern day trading, which is heavily regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Its website even bragged as a way to avoid ‘the nasty PDT Rule’.
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The SEC alleged that SureTrader marketed its services through day trading websites, and solicited thousands of traders based in the United States to open accounts. Furthermore, the broker-dealer nevertheless engaged in ongoing securities relationships with US-based traders, including by holding funds and executing transactions on their behalf.
“At various times during the Relevant Period, up to 80% of SureTrader’s customer base was comprised of U.S. customers,” the court filing noted.
“SureTrader grew from a three-man shop to one with 75 employees, more than 40,000 customer accounts, and assets of more than $10 million. According to Gentile, SureTrader effected transactions in excess of $1 billion on behalf of its customers.”
The SEC has slapped charges on both the company and its owner, seeking injunctive relief, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains with pre-judgment interest and civil penalties.