“They will never get the money”, says trader accused of Forex fraud

Maria Nikolova

“I am sure the team at the CTFC are very joyful every time I send a response because it is SO out of order and makes me look like such a fool”, Brett Hartshorn says in another hyper-emotional email to the Court.

Brett Hartshorn, a former trader accused of perpetrating Forex fraud on his friends and members of his church, has once again resorted to hyper-emotional pleas with the Court, as he sought to reply to the claims made by the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

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.

In his latest email to the Judge assigned to his case at the New York Southern District Court, Hartshorn’s emotional tone swings from complaints about his health, family and financial situation to what can be seen as indirect threats that the CFTC will not get anything from the case regardless of its outcome.

“I have no idea what I am doing, I am sure the team at the CTFC are very joyful every time I send a response because it is SO out of order and makes me look like such a fool”, the former trader admits.

Then he continues with complaints about difficulties to find a job due to the fact that the case launched against him has become widely known. Hartshorn also complains of physical illnesses due to stress, resulting in his inability to wear clothes with short sleeves, and of the fact that “our Family van has no a/c”.

Then he proceeds with playing down his responsibility for the losses suffered by investors:

“I was ASKED, (I NEVER, EVER, NOT ONCE solicited ANYONE), by a bunch of my closest friends to do for them what I was doing for myself, trade currencies. Did I ever ask for a fee, no, did ever ask for them to sign a contract of ANY kind, no….these were ALL hand shake deals with people I cared most about in my life. It was a verbal agreement…”

The email concludes with a gloomy statement about how the defrauded investors and the CFTC have nothing to win from the case against Hartshorn:

“The former friends of mine who may want me in jail for losing some of their net worth will not get that satisfaction. They will not get their money back…I guess the CTFC and the plaintiff’s goal is to win this case and have a judgement against me forever. That is a lose-lose situation…they will never get the money, and in todays computer age, I will never be afforded the opportunity for a normal job…”

In March this year, the CFTC challenged Hartshorn’s claims, including ones about his financial distress. The documents, submitted by the CFTC included, inter alia, a Declaration signed by Christopher Giglio, senior futures trading investigator at the regulator. The Declaration of Mr Giglio is accompanied by a number of exhibits, including excerpts of Mr Hartshorn’s correspondence with Forex Capital Markets LLC (FXCM), which, when the fraud was perpetrated, was still an active and licensed FX broker in the United States. The correspondence marks stark contrast with the claims that Hartshorn made in his emotional letters with the Court.

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

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