CFTC obtains entry of default against uncontactable binary options fraudster

Maria Nikolova

The CFTC’s motion was granted by the Court due to lack of reply by Peter Szatmari, a binary options marketer accused of having defrauded victims of $3.8 million.

The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has managed to mark progress in its action against binary options marketer Peter Szatmari, accused of having defrauded victims of $3.8 million. The Hawaii District Court has granted the CFTC’s motion for clerk’s entry of default against the defendant as he had failed to respond to the complaint against him.

Szatmari has failed to appear, plead or otherwise defend within the time allowed. That is why, the CFTC insisted he should be declared in default.

The next step for the CFTC is to file a motion for a default judgment in this case. According to the latest Court filings, this should happen no later than May 22, 2020.

According to the CFTC complaint, Szatmari lured prospective customers by disseminating fraudulent marketing materials in six marketing “campaigns.” These solicitations instructed unsuspecting investors to open and fund binary options accounts with “recommended” brokers to get free access to automated trading software that purported to generate astronomical profits with no risk of loss. According to the filings, these marketing materials included numerous false or misleading statements.

Szatmari also failed to disclose that he received a fee from the binary options brokers he recommended every time a new account was opened and funded as a result of his solicitations. Further, he failed to disclose that this fee arrangement was the sole basis for recommending brokers. Szatmari’s fraudulent solicitations were disseminated to and/or viewed by millions of prospective customers, with approximately 25,000 customers opening binary options trading accounts and funding those accounts, usually with an initial deposit of $250 or more.

The CFTC seeks full restitution to defrauded individuals, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, a civil monetary penalty, permanent registration and trading bans, and a permanent injunction against further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations.

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