CFTC seeks entry of default against uncontactable binary options scammer

Maria Nikolova

The regulator asks the Hawaii District Court for an entry of default against Peter Szatmari, who has failed to respond to the CFTC complaint.

The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is pushing forward with its action against a binary options marketer who defrauded victims of $3.8 million. Earlier this week, the US regulator filed a motion for an entry of default with the Hawaii District Court.

The document, seen by FinanceFeeds, explains that the US regulator effected service on Peter Szatmari by publishing notices in the Hawaii Star Advisor, as the defendant could not be located. Following the publication of the notices on December 23, 2019, and December 30, 2019, as well as on January 6, 2020 and January 13, 2020, the defendant’s response was due on January 13, 2020. However, he has failed to appear, plead, or otherwise defend within the time allowed.

Therefore, the CFTC requests that the clerk of court enter default against Peter Szatmari.

As alleged in 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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