Emotional pleas don’t work: CFTC obtains certificate of default against alleged FX fraudster

Maria Nikolova

The CFTC has made further progress in its action against Brett G. Hartshorn known for his hyper-emotional pleas.

Statements such as “I have completely lost my life” and “I am scared” did not help much Brett G. Hartshorn, whom the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) accuses of having fraudulently solicited at least $906,000 for purposes of Forex trading.

On Friday, November 9, 2018, Clerk of Court of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a certificate of default against Hartshorn, thereby confirming that the defendant had failed to respond to the Court’s decision from September this year to deny his motion to dismiss the case against him.

Let’s recall that the CFTC has found that from at least June 18, 2008 to in or around 2014 Hartshorn fraudulently solicited at least 13 individuals including members of his church and individuals he met in his local community, to invest in off-exchange foreign currency on a leveraged, margined, or financed basis and to give Hartshorn discretionary authority to trade forex on their behalf. Hartshorn solicited and/or managed at least $906,000 in client funds.

The defendant had challenged the CFTC action based on statute of limitations, improper venue, and lack of CFTC jurisdiction. On September 17, 2018, Judge Andrew L. Carter denied Brett Hartshorn’s motion to dismiss in its entirety.

Hartshorn is known for his hyper-emotional filings with the Court. In April, for instance, he confessed:

“I have no idea what I am doing, I am sure the team at the CTFC are very joyful every time I send a response because it is SO out of order and makes me look like such a fool”.

He also complained of physical illnesses due to stress, resulting in his inability to wear clothes with short sleeves, and of the fact that “our Family van has no a/c”.

That email concluded with a rather pessimistic statement about how the defrauded investors and the CFTC have nothing to win from the case against Hartshorn:

“The former friends of mine who may want me in jail for losing some of their net worth will not get that satisfaction. They will not get their money back…I guess the CTFC and the plaintiff’s goal is to win this case and have a judgement against me forever. That is a lose-lose situation…they will never get the money, and in todays computer age, I will never be afforded the opportunity for a normal job…”

The case is captioned U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. Hartshorn (1:16-cv-09802).

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