ROFX charged as FX scam by CFTC

Rick Steves

The agency alleges the defendants falsely claimed to trade forex utilizing a highly successful automated trading robot with guaranteed coverage of losses.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has filed a civil enforcement action against five individuals and five companies with fraud, misappropriation, and registration violations in connection with a fraudulent foreign currency (forex) scheme.

The regulator charged Ukraine-based Borys Konovalenko, Canada-based Alla Skala, as well as three individuals based in the United States: Jase Davis, Timothy Stubbs, Anna Shymko, and Timothy Stubbs.

$58 million stolen in four years

All five individuals are involved in the alleged FX scam ROFX and acted as a common enterprise to fraudulently solicit and misappropriate at least $58 million from U.S. and international customers for purported trading in forex.

The scheme may have lasted for nearly four years – from January 2018 through September 2021 – and over 1,100 customers opened trading accounts through the ROFX.net website and deposited funds via checks or wires to bank accounts in the name of one or more of the companies, all controlled by the individual defendants, the CFTC stated.

The agency alleges the defendants falsely claimed to trade forex utilizing a highly successful automated trading robot with guaranteed coverage of losses.

During the relevant period, the defendants received at least $58 million from customers, all of which was misappropriated by wiring to non-trading corporate entities in Poland, Thailand, and elsewhere, as well as to the individual defendants themselves, said the CFTC.

Victims sued ROFX founders in 2021

The companies allegedly acted as futures commission merchants by doing business as ROFX, soliciting or accepting orders for retail forex transactions via the ROFX website, and accepting funds in or in connection with such transactions without being registered with the CFTC.

The CFTC seeks restitution to defrauded customers, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil monetary penalties, permanent registration and trading bans, and permanent injunctions against further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations.

Restitution orders may not result in the recovery of money lost, because the wrongdoers may not have sufficient funds or assets.

In September 2021, dozens of victims have taken ROFX and its founders to Court over alleged fraud. At the time, there were letters from 300 victims in support of forming a class action.

Individual defendants at the time included Andrei Fetin, Anna Shymko, Anton Bilous, Borys Konovalenko, Dmytro Fokin, Jorge Luis Castillo, Manuchar Daraselia, Mikhail Rymanov, Natalia Los, Nattpemol Krinara, PapahraTsor Nrviratporn, Peter Mogilniy, Stanislav Khomenko, and Youras Ziankovich.

According to the plaintiffs, ROFX’s conduct occurred as early as 2016.

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