CFTC tries to get to co-founder of fraudulent binary options scheme Berkley Capital Management

Maria Nikolova

Service on Arie Bos, one of the co-founders of fraudulent binary options entity Berkley Capital Management, turns out to be problematic for the US regulator.

The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is trying to get to one of the co-founders of a fraudulent binary options scheme responsible for $4.8 million of investor losses.

The regulator is seeking an order directing service of summons and the complaint on Arie Bos by alternate means of service including email. The CFTC motion was submitted at the Illinois Northern District Court on June 14, 2019.

Bos is one of the defendants in a lawsuit which also targets William Thomas Caniff, Berkley Capital Management, LLC (BCM), BBOT 1, LP and Berkley II, LP. The CFTC alleges that the defendants engaged in a scheme whereby they fraudulently solicited and accepted at least $4.8 million from at least 62 commodity pool participants for the purpose of trading binary options on or subject to the rules of a designated contract market in pool accounts to be managed by BCM.

The CFTC alleges that all of the defendants committed options fraud, whereas Caniff is said to also have made a false statement to a registered entity.

Defendant Arie Bos is a natural person, 59 years of age, who resides in Rotterdam in the Netherlands and is a citizen of that country. Bos is a co-founder and Managing Partner of BCM and is a limited partner of BBOT and Berkley II. Bos was responsible for all “marketing” on behalf of BCM, and for “administration and reporting” to the funds limited partners and for “membership management” of BBOT and Berkley II and for the limited partnership’s offerings. Bos has never been registered with the CFTC in any capacity.

Effecting service on Bos is problematic. The CFTC explains that the Netherlands is a signatory of the Hague Convention. Service on Bos in the Netherlands under the Hague Convention will cost thousands of dollars and take months to perfect service. Service in the Netherlands under the Hague Convention requires that the summary form be translated into Dutch and suggests that the other pleadings to be served also be translated into Dutch. Bos reads and understands English as demonstrated by his past phone and email communications with representatives of the Commission as well as in-person and email communications with at least one US Investor.

Given this, the CFTC seeks an order approving the Commission’s use of email to serve process on Bos. Alternatively, the Commission seeks an order permitting service on attorney Michelle LaGrotta since she has acted as Bos’s legal representative throughout the communications with the Commission that preceded the filing of this lawsuit.

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