CFTC orders Glenn Olson to pay $1 million for binary options fraud

Rick Steves

Mr. Olson admitted he took other actions to defraud customers while receiving disbursements totaling $241,070.30 and led customers to convert their Blue Bit account holdings into ATM Coin, a worthless cryptocurrency.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has settled charges with Glenn Olson for his role in a binary options fraud. The order requires Olson to disgorge all of his ill-gotten gains, totaling $241,070.

The CFTC found Mr. Olson sold binary options to customers for Blue Bit using alias names between 2014 and 2018. The defendant admitted that, as part of the scheme, he and others misrepresented the profitability of trading, manipulated or fabricated purported trades in their customers’ accounts to the customers’ disadvantage, prevented customers from withdrawing funds, and misappropriated customer funds.

Mr. Olson admitted he took other actions to defraud customers while receiving disbursements totaling $241,070.30 and led customers to convert their Blue Bit account holdings into ATM Coin, a worthless cryptocurrency.

According to the order, at least 27 customers lost a total of $846,405 as a result of the fraudulent scheme. Mr. Olson and other defendants were ordered to pay that sum in restitution, but victims were cautioned that they might never recover the money lost because wrongdoers may not have sufficient funds or assets.

While ASIC, Australia’s financial watchdog, has recently decided to ban binary options trading offerings to retail customers, courts across the world are still filled with cases of fraud involving binary options.

One example is CFTC’s charges against six individuals and four companies for operating a fraudulent binary options trading scheme that received over $165 million from victims.

Between 2013 and 2018, three Canadian brothers—defendants David Cartu, Jonathan Cartu, and Joshua Cartu—marketed, offered, and sold illegal, off-exchange binary options to retail customers on websites under the BeeOptions, Glenridge Capital, and Rumelia Capital binary option brands.

The Cartu brothers processed over $165 million in credit card payments for binary option transactions. The complaint further alleges that Masten and SignalPush provided trade signals and auto-trader services to customers, and failed to register with the CFTC as required.

In its continuing litigation against the defendants, the CFTC seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil monetary penalties, restitution for the benefit of customers, permanent registration and trading bans, and a permanent injunction from future violations of the Commodity Exchange Act as charged.

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