CFTC brings charges against 10 commodity trading advisors for failure to maintain NFA memberships

Maria Nikolova

The respondents named in the CFTC’s complaints are: Adale LLC, Amgad Gayed Attia, Obie Lee Cole, CWE USA LLC, Suanne Fay Goldman, Griggs Research & Consulting Inc., JPR Inc., Lewis Futures Management LLC, McClelland Capital Management Inc., and Weiliang Shao.

The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced the filing of charges against 10 commodity trading advisors (CTAs) for failing to obtain and maintain membership in a registered futures association (RFA) as required by CFTC regulations.

Compliance with this provision requires all registered CTAs to maintain membership in the National Futures Association (NFA), which is the only RFA currently registered with the CFTC.

The list of respondents named in the CFTC’s complaints includes: Adale LLC, a California limited liability corporation; Amgad Gayed Attia, a New York resident; Obie Lee Cole, an Iowa resident; CWE USA LLC, a California limited liability corporation; Suanne Fay Goldman, an Illinois resident; Griggs Research & Consulting Inc., an Indiana corporation; JPR Inc., a Maryland corporation; Lewis Futures Management LLC, a Georgia limited liability corporation; McClelland Capital Management Inc., a New York corporation; and Weiliang Shao, a Nevada resident.

Division of Enforcement Director James McDonald explained:

“As the sole registered futures association, NFA plays a critical role in the oversight of CFTC registrants. But NFA can only do its part if registrants submit to its jurisdictional requirements. Where registrants seek to skirt those rules, the CFTC will act to ensure compliance and to preserve NFA’s ability to carry out its important oversight function. Our derivatives markets are better served, and the public is better protected, by these important requirements.”

The complaints charge that the respondents, though registered as CTAs, are violating CFTC Regulation 170.17, which requires that every registered CTA, unless eligible for certain exemptions, must become and remain a member of at least one RFA.

By failing to maintain membership with the NFA or assert a valid exemption from NFA membership, the respondents have improperly avoided NFA’s industry self-regulation. The NFA is responsible, with CFTC oversight, for certain aspects of the regulation of CTAs and other futures entities, including examining CTAs’ qualifications and proficiency, financial condition, retail sales practices, and business conduct. Because the respondents have not maintained their membership with NFA, it has had no jurisdiction to perform its vital self-regulatory functions with respect to the respondents.

In its enforcement action, the CFTC seeks an order directing the respondents to cease and desist from violating the provision requiring membership in an RFA.

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