CFTC and Kevin Scott Antonovich agree to settle binary options fraud charges

Maria Nikolova

Antonovich will have to pay a civil monetary penalty of $284,043, as well as restitution of $270,332.

The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Tuesday filed a proposed order settling charges against Kevin Scott Antonovich of Woodside, New York.

The document, submitted to the New York Eastern District Court, outlines the terms of a settlement with Antonovich, who was charged with misappropriation of customer funds and fraudulent solicitation in connection with investments in a commodity pool, as well as with registration violations.

To effect settlement of all charges in the Complaint, the defendant agrees to the entry of Consent Order.

The proposed order includes a permanent injunction, as well as monetary penalties. Thus, Antonovich will have to pay a civil monetary penalty of $284,043, as well as restitution of $270,332.

In approximately mid-2015, Antonovich and a number of associates he met through trading chatrooms formed Bull and Bear IT Traders (BBITT) as an online business. The original purpose of BBITT was to provide trading signals and advice. In or around September 2015, Antonovich started soliciting investments in a “group account”. He told pool participants he would be trading binary options on currencies on CFTC-approved Cantor Exchange. But, in fact, Antonovich transferred pool participant funds to three different offshore binary option trading accounts at various unregistered trading platforms.

As alleged in the CFTC Complaint, from September 2015 through August 2016, Antonovich fraudulently solicited and received approximately $284,000 from at least 154 pool participants in connection with pooled investments in off-exchange binary options. As further alleged, Antonovich misappropriated approximately $124,000 of pool participant funds for business expenses and his personal use, made false and misleading representations to pool participants, and fabricated documents purporting to show funds available for return to pool participants.

Antonovich issued numerous updates to pool participants falsely claiming that his trading for the pool was profitable. In addition, when pool participants sought payouts from the pool, Antonovich falsely claimed that funds were available to be paid out and fabricated trading account and bank documents to give pool participants the false impression that funds were available to satisfy not only return of principal funds, but also payment of purported profits.

The case is captioned Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. Antonovich (1:18-cv-02383).

Read this next

Digital Assets

Revolut receives FCA’s go-ahead to launch crypto trading

British fintech and banking firm Revolut has received a regulatory go-ahead to launch its cryptocurrency services in the UK.

Digital Assets

GBTC share is trading at 36% below bitcoin spot price

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust share has widened its discount relative to the underlying cryptocurrency held in the fund, the highest margin ever since its debut in 2013. Digital Currency Group’s flagship GBTC shares traded at a discount of 35.8% to net asset value (NAV) today.

Digital Assets

Crypto lender Nexo investigated by 8 US state regulators

State securities regulators in New York, California, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Washington and Vermont are investigating crypto lender Nexo for allegedly failing to register its Earn Interest Product.

Metaverse Gaming NFT

Astar Network’s ad features 329 top brands to support Web3 in Japan

Blockchain innovation hub Astar Network is making strides in promoting the Web3 adoption worldwide. In yet another milestone, the smart contracts platform has run a national newspaper ad in Japan that set a new global record with participation from 329 blue-chip firms.

Digital Assets

Pyth Network welcomes onchain data from crypto market maker Auros

“By sharing our high-frequency trading data with a truly onchain decentralized network, we aim to foster innovation that will lead to better financial solutions for all participants.”

Digital Assets

Tokeny integrates Ownera to boost liquidity of tokenized assets

“The adoption of FinP2P will result in higher liquidity and better access to capital and assets by providing regulated firms with one secure point of connection to multiple digital asset networks across the globe.”

Digital Assets

BingX launches subsidy vouchers to cover user losses in copy trading

“With the introduction of copy trade subsidy vouchers, new users can easily try out trading strategies without incurring losses.”

Digital Assets

Talos expands sales team: Frank van Zegveld, Matt Houston, Hillary Conley

“The extensive leadership and industry expertise of these new hires will enable us to build long-lasting relationships as we continue to build out our global presence in EMEA and beyond.”

Executive Moves

FX and CFD broker Emporium Capital hires industry veteran Robert Woolfe as COO

His past experience within the FX and CFD industry includes top roles at Capital Index, London Capital Group, GKFX, ETX Capital, and IG.  “I’m delighted to be part of the Emporium Capital team and spearheading the brokerages global expansion plans”, he said about the appointment.

<