NFA bars Fortress Capital from membership for five years

Maria Nikolova

The firm has repeatedly submitted inaccurate financial statements and net capital calculations to NFA.

The United States National Futures Association (NFA) has earlier today announced that it is barring former NFA Member introducing broker, commodity trading advisor and forex firm Fortress Capital and the firm’s former sole principal and associated person George Ashkar from membership for five years.

The bar comes after Fortress has been found to have failed to maintain adequate books and records by failing to properly record assets and liabilities and repeatedly submitting inaccurate financial statements and net capital calculations to NFA. Also, an NFA Hearing Panel concluded that Fortress failed to maintain minimum adjusted net capital. The Hearing Panel also found that Fortress used misleading and deceptive promotional material. Finally, the Hearing Panel found that Fortress and Ashkar failed to adequately supervise Fortress’ use of promotional material and failed to have adequate procedures addressing ethics training, cybersecurity, FX operations and customer risk disclosures.

Since Fortress became an NFA member in 2010, NFA has carried out several investigations and examinations of the firm and its former Miami office. In 2014, the Association conducted an examination of Fortress which found that the firm had fallen below its minimum net capital requirement after transferring $45,000 to an affiliate, iClickNTrade LLC. The transfer left Fortress undercapitalized for nearly two weeks in December 2013. Fortress did not inform NFA of this capital deficiency until February 2014.

In 2015, NFA conducted examinations of Fortress’s main office and its Miami branch office which found a number of deficiencies relating to the firm’s financial records, promotional materials and record-keeping. Inter alia, these examinations have found that Fortress failed to maintain customer information and failed to accrue for certain liabilities.

Further, in August 2017, NFA commenced another examination of Fortress’s main office which found numerous financial, promotional material, and supervision-related deficiencies.

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