Florida court issues order for preliminary injunction against binary options fraudsters

Maria Nikolova

CFTC secures preliminary injunction against the “Millionaire Money Machine” fraudsters who allegedly solicited more than $16 million in connection with illegal offering of binary options contracts.

The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has marked some progress in its legal action against the “Millionaire Money Machine” fraudsters, alleged to have solicited more than $16 million due to illegal offering of binary options contracts.

The past couple of days saw the Florida Middle District Court issue two Orders approving the CFTC’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction against defendants Jason B. Scharf (doing business as Citrades.com and AutoTradingBinary.com), CIT Investments LLC, Brevspand EOOD, CIT Investments Ltd., A & J Media Partners, Michael Shah, and Zilmil, Inc.

Defendants Jason B. Scharf, A&J Media, Michael Shah, and Zilmil consented to the entry of the order for preliminary injunction, whereas defendants CIT Investments, Brevspand, and CIT Anguilla have failed to appear or show cause why a preliminary injunction should not be issued against them. As a result, all of the defendants in the case are now subject to Orders for preliminary injunction.

The Orders prohibit the defendants from (inter alia):

  • Offering to enter into, entering into, confirming the execution of, maintaining positions in, or otherwise conducting activities relating to binary options;
  • Acting as an affiliate marketer in any capacity that involves binary options or any commodity interest;
  • Offering so-called autotrading systems or services that purport to trade binary options or any commodity interest;
  • Using the instrumentalities of interstate commerce to use or employ, or attempt to use or employ, manipulative devices, schemes, and artifices to defraud;
  • Entering into any transactions involving commodity interests for their own personal account or for any account in which they have a direct or indirect interest;
  • Having any commodity futures, options on commodity futures, commodity options, security futures products, swaps, and/or forex contracts traded on their behalf;
  • Applying for registration or claiming exemption from registration with the Commission in any capacity,
  • Acting as a principal, agent, or any other officer or employee of any person registered, exempted from registration, or required to be registered with the Commission.

The Orders also continue the freeze with respect to Defendants’ assets and continue the prohibition against Defendants destroying books and records, or denying the CFTC access to such books and records. The Court also appointed Kenneth Dante Murena as Permanent Receiver with respect to the Defendants.

The fraudulent practices of the above-mentioned binary options firms included promises of artificially high returns, bonuses and happy life. Once the clients deposited money, any communication was halted.

The CFTC Complaint details the misleading and aggressive marketing practices employed by the defendants. Zilmil, which directed customers to binary options websites, for instance, sent more than 60 million fraudulent emails to more than 1.4 million unique email addresses in a seven-month period. One of the emails concerning the “Millionaire Money Machine” started with the question: “Have you made your first $100,000 yet?”

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