A cautionary tale: binary options fraudster cannot get used to “new normal” after CFTC action

Maria Nikolova

Blake Kantor, who operated fraudulent binary options and cryptocurrency schemes, complains he cannot access and use money at his discretion due to the CFTC action against him.

There has been somewhat of a trend lately of fraudsters resorting to emotional pleas in some desperate effort to secure the Court’s lenience. One may quite often observe how the defendants in fraud cases launched by the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) represent themselves without a counsel (pro se) and their letters to the Court are full of complaining about lack of funds and their miserable state of being. FinanceFeeds’ readers may recall the super-passionate letters from Brett Hartshorn, accused of Forex fraud, to the New York Southern District Court.

A fresh example has been provided late last week by an alleged binary options and cryptocurrency scammer – Blake Harrison Kantor, who also uses the alias Bill Gordon. Kantor and his companies have been charged by the CFTC with fraud.

Judge Sandra J Feuerstein of the New York Eastern District Court has entered a Statutory Restraining Order freezing the defendants’ assets, prohibiting them from destroying their books and records, and granting the CFTC immediate access to those records. The Court had scheduled a hearing for April 26, 2018, to determine, among other things, whether to enter an order for preliminary injunction against the defendants and continue the freeze on the defendants’ assets.

In an email that got into the “junk folder” of the CFTC, Kantor objects to the Order. In particular, he is displeased with his restricted access to money. The defendant states that:

“I have reviewed said Consent Order and… I have read this to understand that should I need to use any type of money, i.e.: whether it be given to me by a family member or personal friend for food, whether it be gas money to go to and from pre-approved locations, of even if I gain employment and have my weekly and bi-weekly earnings direct deposited, I will have to make an application before the Court to use said funds”.

He seeks modification of the Order against him:

“At this time, I respectfully request that the proposed Consent Order be modified… to indicate my personal checking account be accessible to me in order to maintain my “new normal”.

The CFTC Complaint alleges that since at least April 2014 and continuing to the present, the defendants have solicited potential customers through emails, phone calls, and a website to purchase illegal off-exchange binary options via companies such as Blue Bit Banc. The defendants sought to cover up their misappropriation by inviting customers to transfer their binary options account balances into a virtual currency known as ATM Coin.

Kantor also faces a criminal case against him. In his latest letter, he asks the Court to halt the civil proceedings while the criminal case against him is pending. The criminal action against Kantor was taken by the Department of Justice on April 16, 2018. The indictment charged Kantor with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, obstruction of an official proceeding and making false statements to Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

If convicted, Kantor faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on each of the conspiracy to commit wire fraud and obstruction of an official proceeding charges and five years on the false statements charge.

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