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