CFTC action against alleged FX fraudster Brett Hartshorn set for extended stay

Maria Nikolova

The parties in the lawsuit brought by the CFTC request that the stay be continued through December 20, 2019.

A civil lawsuit brought by the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) against Brett G. Hartshorn, who stands accused of having fraudulently solicited at least $906,000 for purposes of Forex trading, is set for an extended stay. This is indicated by the latest filings with the New York Southern District Court.

Let’s recall that the CFTC has found that from at least June 18, 2008 to in or around 2014 Hartshorn fraudulently solicited at least 13 individuals including members of his church and individuals he met in his local community, to invest in off-exchange foreign currency on a leveraged, margined, or financed basis and to give Hartshorn discretionary authority to trade forex on their behalf.

The defendant had challenged the CFTC action based on statute of limitations, improper venue, and lack of CFTC jurisdiction. On September 17, 2018, Judge Andrew L. Carter denied Brett Hartshorn’s motion to dismiss in its entirety.

On November 9, 2018, Clerk of Court of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a certificate of default against Hartshorn, thereby confirming that the defendant had failed to respond to the Court’s decision from September 2018 to deny his motion to dismiss the case against him.

By Order dated May 1, 2019, the case was stayed in light of the ongoing criminal proceedings against Hartshorn. On August 20, 2019 the stay was extended until September 26, 2019.

On Friday, September 20, 2019, the parties in the case submitted a Joint Status Report. The document, made available to FinanceFeeds, states that Counsel for the CFTC has spoken with the Assistant United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, who is handling the related criminal matter. Hartshorn has agreed to a guilty plea in principle. The AUSA has advised counsel for the Commission that the plea agreement is currently being finalized.

Accordingly, the parties in the civil lawsuit request that the stay be continued through December 20, 2019.

Hartshorn has made a raft of hyper-emotional statements. In one of his emails to the Judge assigned to his case, Hartshorn confessed:

“I have no idea what I am doing, I am sure the team at the CTFC are very joyful every time I send a response because it is SO out of order and makes me look like such a fool”.

That email concluded with a rather pessimistic statement about how the defrauded investors and the CFTC have nothing to win from the case against Hartshorn:

“The former friends of mine who may want me in jail for losing some of their net worth will not get that satisfaction. They will not get their money back…I guess the CTFC and the plaintiff’s goal is to win this case and have a judgement against me forever. That is a lose-lose situation…they will never get the money, and in todays computer age, I will never be afforded the opportunity for a normal job…”

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