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by Mike Caswell
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has filed civil charges against a group of Canadians for a fraudulent $165-million options trading operation. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) The CFTC claims that the Cartu brothers of Ontario realized millions in gains through a trading platform in which the trades were often rigged against the clients. The group enticed clients by claiming gains of as much as 85 per cent, but paid out very little, according to the CFTC.
The charges against the group are contained in a civil complaint that the CFTC filed on Wednesday, Sept. 2, in federal court in Texas. The defendants in the case include the Cartu brothers (David, Jonathan and Josh), all of Ontario. Also named are Leeav Peretz and his brother Nati Peretz, of Ontario as well. The case includes a U.S. defendant, Ryan Masten, a resident of Austin, Tex.
The CFTC cites the group for a five-year binary options scheme that ran until April 29, 2018. Through call centres in Israel, the group had brokers solicit scores of investors, mostly in the United States and Canada, the CFTC says. Investors were promised "quick" returns of between 60 and 85 per cent, with "knowledgeable account executives" who would help them trade on-line, the complaint states. The group operated through several brands, including BeeOptions, Glenbridge Capital and Rumelia. They offered trades based on stock market indices and based on commodities such as gold and silver.
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