US CFTC Charges Twelve FX and Binary Firms with Variety of Infractions

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission handed out fines totalling more than $1.2 million.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a US financial regulator, has filed charges against eight entities that were illegally operating in that country.

Filed and Settled

The companies involved were offering foreign exchange and binary options trading to US citizens, without the necessary authorisation. They are as follows:

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Allen Investment Management LLC
Forex Entourage LLC
HedgeFund4U, LLC
Hooley Solutions LLC
International Markets Live, Inc.
LegionFX LLC
The Lion’s Share FX
Wealth Generators LLC

The CFTC website says that the charges were filed and settled simultaneously; punishments are not detailed.

Other Infractions

In addition to the above list, the watchdog also dished out some fines:

NatWest Markets, the investment banking arm of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, was handed a fine of $750,000 for failing to report complete information to the authorities;

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ABN AMRO Clearing Chicago, a futures merchant, received penalties of $160,000 for supervision/recordkeeping violations;

Honouround (HK) International Trade of Hong Kong was slapped with a fine of $300,000 for “exceeding the single month and all-month speculative position limits for soybeans futures contracts traded on the Chicago Board of Trade, and for failing to file Form 204s as required”; and Mobius Risk Group was charged for providing investment services without authorisation (amount not reported).

James McDonald, CFTC Director of Enforcement, said: “These Orders reflect the CFTC’s commitment to protecting the public by enforcing the recordkeeping, registration, reporting, and supervision requirements in the Act and Regulations.”

“These requirements are critical to the CFTC’s mission to protect market participants and to ensure market integrity: (i) on the front end, by requiring entities and individuals to register with the CFTC prior to doing business in the commodities markets, (ii) on an ongoing basis by requiring registrants to diligently supervise their employees and ensure compliance with the Act and Regulations, and (iii) on the back end by ensuring proper records are maintained and made available to the CFTC, allowing fraud and other misconduct to be detected and remediated.”

Blow Your Whistle

In August, the CFTC announced that it had paid out a total of $45 million to a number of whistleblowers, meaning people that gave useful information regarding instances of criminal behaviour in the finance industry. According to the terms of the programme, which was launched in 2010, informants are entitled to between 10 and 30 percent of the money recovered from thieves. Of the $45 million figure, $30 million went to one person alone.

In July 2018, the CFTC reported that more American money was invested in foreign exchange than had been in June, but the difference was only about one percent.

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