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by Mike Caswell
Jonathan Cartu, an Ontario man charged by the U.S. Commodity Trading Futures Commission for a $165-million options scheme, has asked that a judge throw the case out. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) The CFTC claims that Mr. Cartu and others ran an offshore options scheme that promised investors returns as high as 85 per cent. The CFTC says that the men, operating from a call centre in Israel, rigged trades against investors.
Mr. Cartu's request is contained in a motion filed on May 19, 2023, in federal court in Texas. His motion rests largely in legalese, with Mr. Cartu claiming that the CFTC has failed to show that the U.S. courts have jurisdiction over him. The options operation was run from Israel, and the CFTC has not presented any evidence that he personally did anything to communicate with a single U.S. customer, the motion states. Moreover, he has never resided in the U.S.
As Mr. Cartu sees things, the CFTC would have to show a more direct connection between him and any U.S. victims. He does not entirely deny that the options scheme had U.S. customers, but he says that any such customers were solicited by others that he did not control. As Mr. Cartu sees things, "There are no allegations that Cartu himself solicited United States customers, made misrepresentation to United States customers, or defrauded United States customers through any deceptive device or contrivance."
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