CFTC asks Court to impose monetary penalty of $13.4m on binary options scammers

Maria Nikolova

The CFTC gets close to the end of an action against a maze of binary options entities, promising clients “the most profitable click they’ll ever make”.

While the Department of Justice (DOJ) has taken action against binary options scammer Jason Scharf, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is also pressing ahead with its action against Scharf and the entities associated with him.

As per the latest filings with the Florida Middle District Court, the CFTC is seeking that the Court grants final judgment by default against CIT Investments LLC, Brevspand EOOD, and CIT Investments Ltd., orders permanent injunctive relief, and imposes a restitution obligation and civil monetary penalty.

Scharf, acting through various agents, employees, and business entities, including CIT Investments LLC, Brevspand EOOD, and CIT Investments Ltd., operated an illegal binary options scam through various websites, including but not limited to citrades.com and autotradingbinary.com. The Citrades website made false and misleading statements, such as:

  • describing its binary options as “safe & secure investments”;
  • stating that “Binary Options are the fastest and most efficient way to convert your financial decisions into substantial profits”;
  • stating that opening an account with Citrades is “the most profitable click you’ll ever make”.

The ATB website encouraged customers to register for ATB’s “hands-off” autotrading service, which it touted as “100% free,” while falsely promising “100% automated binary options profits.” 

In total, the Defaulting Citrades defendants received $4,480,431.60 from customers. There is no indication that the defendants returned any of the money.

In the proposed order, the CFTC asks for a permanent injunction against the defendants. The regulator also asks the Court to order the defendants to pay restitution of $4,480,431.60. The civil monetary penalty sought is $13,441,294.80.

Read this next

Retail FX

Financial Commission adds FX broker Bold Prime to membership roster

The Financial Commission today announced that it has added Bold Prime to its member roster, which is made up of online brokerages operating in FX, derivatives and cryptocurrency markets.

Digital Assets

Despite crypto winter, Cake DeFi paid out $58 million in Q2 rewards

According to its latest ‘Transparency Report,’ Cake DeFi continued its growth trajectory in the three months through June 2022, even as the entire crypto industry experienced macro challenges this quarter.

Retail FX

SimpleFX Review: Cryptos, Spreads, Pros & Cons

SimpleFX combines years of Forex and cryptocurrency experience with a focus on offering resources to retail traders. 

Retail FX

Ironbeam becomes CME clearing member and launches MT5

“The direct clearing aspect along with our low-latency proprietary trading tools and technology solutions make Ironbeam the ideal trading destination.”

Institutional FX

Top 0.07%: oneZero makes it to Inc. 5000 of fastest growing companies in America

oneZero started out by serving the foreign exchange trading community, developing and executing technology that could scale with the growth of the FX market.

Industry News

CFTC wins case against broker for secretly taking other side of client orders in block trades

“As we said at the outset of this case, the illegal use of inside or confidential information undermines confidence in markets and will not be tolerated.”

Technology

BankiFi raises $4.8m to bring embedded banking platform to North America

“Our mission is to make all aspects of cash management and payments easier for SMBs everywhere, and this investment is another huge step to making that a reality.”

Executive Moves

Shieldpay hires ex-Payoneer Chris Andrews as Head of Sales

“We’ll be expanding our position in existing markets and accelerating growth into new verticals, whilst building on our direct and indirect channels.”

Digital Assets

Crypto.com secures preliminary approval to operate in Canada

Crypto.com, one of the longest-established crypto platforms, has become the first digital asset platform to sign a Pre-‘Registration Undertaking’ with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) in Canada.

<