Forex fraudster fails to have CFTC action against him dismissed

Maria Nikolova

Brett Hartshorn, who is accused of fraudulently soliciting at least $906,000 for purposes of Forex trading, fails to convince the Court that the CFTC action against him should be nixed.

Brett Hartshorn, whom the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) accused of having fraudulently solicited at least $906,000 for purposes of Forex trading, has failed to have the action against him dismissed.

On Monday, September 17th, Judge Andrew L. Carter of the New York Southern District Court signed an order denying the Motion to Dismiss by Hartshorn. Let’s recall that what is dubbed to be a Motion to Dismiss is actually a very emotional email sent to the Court early this year.

In that email, the defendant asked the Court to dismiss the case against him, so he “can make a great and positive difference in this world”. He did not specify, however, how he planned to compensate his friends for the losses they suffered.

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 Monday, Judge Andrew L. Carter denied Brett Hartshorn’s motion to dismiss in its entirety.

The defendant had argued that the CFTC should be required to provide a more definite statement of their claims. But the Court found that the Complaint is quite specific, including granular details regarding many of the fraudulent activities the defendant is alleged to have undertaken.

The Court did not find that the arguments about the financial hardships the defendant claims to be enduring make legal proceedings in New York “prohibitively expensive” as opposed to Florida where he wanted the case transferred. The Court ruled that the case would continue in New York.

In addition, the Court finds that any appeal from this Order would not be taken in good faith, and therefore in forma pauperis status is denied for purpose of an appeal.

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

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