CFTC and Forex fraudster Brett Hartshorn reach settlement in principle

Maria Nikolova

Brett G. Hartshorn is accused of having fraudulently solicited at least $906,000 for purposes of Forex trading.

The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) appears to have made progress in its action against Brett G. Hartshorn, who stands accused of fraudulent solicitation at least $906,000 for purposes of Forex trading.

According to a status report filed with the New York Southern District Court on March 13, 2020, the CFTC and the defendant have reached a settlement in principle. On March 6, 2020, Mr Hartshorn submitted an executed proposed consent order that, if entered by the Court, would resolve the CFTC’s claims against him.

Also, 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 against Hartshorn. The defendant has pleaded guilty in the criminal matter, and his plea was accepted by the presiding Judge on March 3, 2020. Hartshorn’s sentencing in the criminal case is currently scheduled for May 14, 2020.

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 promises Hartshorn made to his friends about his trading were pretty emotional:

“Feel free to bring me a check to church tonight … it’s cool for me to see my reward whenever it’s over a grand as we agreed. Very motivating! These checks will eventually be five figures…how much fun will that be for both of us !”

“I can without a doubt get you back to whole and beyond… Stick with me… This will give God a chance to really show off !”

Hartshorn has made rather emotional statements to the Court too. 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…”

Hartshorn is accused of fraud in connection with retail Forex transactions, failure to register as a CTA and failure to comply with relevant CTA requirements.

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