NY Judge terminates case against FTS Financial following settlement with CFTC

Maria Nikolova

The company will have to pay a civil monetary penalty of $2.4 million as a part of the settlement with the CFTC.

A followup to FinanceFeeds’ earlier article about the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approving the settlement with FTS Financial Inc, Kevin Michael Symons and Jerry Austin Simmons over a fraud involving the aggressive promotion of the “Real Time Trade Room”…

On Wednesday, October 25th, Judge Ronnie Abrams of the New York Southern District Court signed the Consent Orders agreed between the plaintiffs and the defendants, thereby putting an end to the case.

Under the Consent Orders, the defendants are prohibited from (inter alia) engaging in any way in commodity interest trading; acting as commodity trading advisors, commodity pool operators or their associated persons; and from acting as principals or employees of an entity registered or required to be registered with the Commission. In addition, FTS shall pay a civil monetary penalty of $2.4 million. Symons shall pay a civil monetary penalty of $100,000, whereas Simmons’ civil monetary penalty amounts to $180,000.

According to the allegations, FTS was in the business of marketing to clients various financial services, including the “Real Time Trade Room”, from at least August 2012 and continuing through or around November 2013. The Room was marketed as an online forum in which subscribers, for a fee, could observe an individual as he ostensibly traded futures contracts. The supposed trader was marketed as trading “live” and in “real time”. FTS told clients they could make money by buying and selling the same futures contracts in their own accounts, following the trades that were purportedly being made live in the Room.

The person trading in the Room was described as a “highly respected veteran trader with tremendous consistency”. In fact, the “trader” never actually traded any futures contracts in the Room, much less earned his livelihood from futures contract trading profits. The agreement signed by the clients said that the trades in the Room were virtual (simulated).

The defendants were accused of fraud by misrepresentations and omissions and of failure to provide required disclosures.

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