New Jersey Court denies CFTC request for expedited discovery in Forex fraud case

Maria Nikolova

Administrative formalities prevent the CFTC from securing expedited discovery in a case against Unique Forex, Blackbox Pulse and White Cloud Mountain, and these firms’ managers.

What may be seen as pure administrative formality has hampered the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) from getting the Court’s permission for expedited discovery in a Forex fraud case.

The case, captioned Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. Lanzana d/b/a Unique Forex et al (2:17-cv-06290), targets Thomas Lanzana (dba Unique Forex), Nikolay Masanko, Blackbox Pulse LLC, and White Cloud Mountain LLC. The defendants are accused of defrauding at least thirty customers of at least $700,000 in connection with pooled investments in retail off-exchange Forex transactions and other investments.

Last week, the CFTC sought that the New Jersey District Court grants its Motion for Expedited Discovery to secure the immediate identification of the Defendants’ assets and customers and for a review of the Defendants’ books and records, including bank records, to ensure that Defendants preserve all customer assets, and to allow the parties to prepare adequately for any hearing.

As per the latest court filings, seen by FinanceFeeds, the Court has denied the CFTC request. Although the judge assigned to the case agrees that expedited discovery is necessary, the request is denied with a small note saying that the CFTC may file such a request again, once the defendants are served and appear.

The Court has also issued a Statutory restraining order that Defendants are immediately restrained and enjoined from, directly or indirectly: transferring, removing, dissipating, concealing, assigning, pledging, encumbering, disbursing, converting, selling, or otherwise disposing of, in any manner, any funds, assets, or other property, wherever located, including funds, assets, or other property held outside the United States.

A key role of the fraudsters’ efforts to mislead was played by their claims that Unique Forex and Blackbox Pulse had accounts at FXCM, which was back then still active in the US FX market. In reality, no account in the name of “Blackbox Pulse, LLC” and/or “Unique Forex” existed at FXCM.

The CFTC Complaint accuses the defendants of Forex and commodity pool fraud.

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