— The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today filed charges against 14 entities for either failing to register as futures commission merchants (FCMs) or else making false and misleading claims of having CFTC registration and National Futures Association (NFA) membership. Each complaint seeks orders directing the entities to cease and desist from committing violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations as charged.

“Today’s actions reflect the CFTC’s dedicated efforts to aggressively root out bad actors falsely claiming to hold legitimate registrations and protect the trading public,” said Division of Enforcement Acting Director Vincent McGonagle.”

The CFTC strongly urges the public to verify a company’s CFTC registration before committing funds. If unregistered, a customer should be wary of providing funds to that entity. A company’s registration status can be found using NFA BASIC. More information can be found at cftc.gov/check.

Failure to Register as FCMs

Twelve of the complaints allege that the entities are acting as FCMs by offering to the general public the opportunity to purchase binary options based off the value of commodities like foreign currencies and cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, and encourage customers to transfer money or assets to them. However, none of these entities have ever registered as an FCM:

  • Tradingforexpay allegedly based in New York and also located in San Diego and Toronto, claims to offer binary options based off the value of commodities like foreign currencies and cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin. It claims to be one of the leading platforms in the U.S offering binary options, Forex and spreads. It directs clients to transfer assets to the “company account/bitcoin wallet address,” touts its ability to handle customer funds, and claims that its “first priority is the security of our client funds,” for which it has received awards, and further claims that it is regulated by the CFTC.
     
  • Cryptofxtrader allegedly based in New York and also located in Los Angeles, claims to offer binary options based off the value of commodities like foreign currencies and cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin. It claims to be one of the leading platforms in the U.S. offering binary options, Forex and spreads. It directs clients to choose a payment method, and further claims that it is regulated by the CFTC.
     
  • Bitfxprofit allegedly based in New York, claims to offer binary options based off the value of commodities like foreign currencies and cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin. It claims to be one of the leading platforms in the U.S. offering binary options, Forex and spreads. It touts its ability to handle customer funds, and claims that its “first priority is the security of our client funds,” for which it has received awards, and further claims that it is regulated by the CFTC.
     
  • Globalnationfx allegedly based in New York, claims to offer binary options based off the value of commodities like foreign currencies and cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin. It claims to be one of the leading platforms in the U.S. offering binary options, Forex and spreads. It touts its ability to handle customer funds, and claims that its “first priority is the security of our client funds,” for which it has received awards, and further claims that it is regulated by the CFTC.
     
  • BinanceFxTrade allegedly based in New York, claims to offer binary options based off the value of commodities like foreign currencies and cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin. It claims to be one of the leading platforms in the U.S. offering binary options, Forex and spreads. It touts its ability to handle customer funds, and claims that its “first priority is the security of our client funds,” for which it has received awards, and further claims that it is regulated by the CFTC.
     
  • MaxForexOption allegedly based in New York, claims to offer binary options based off the value of commodities like foreign currencies and cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin. It claims to be one of the leading platforms in the U.S. offering binary options, Forex and spreads. It touts its ability to handle customer funds, and claims that its “first priority is the security of our client funds,” for which it has received awards, and further claims that it is regulated by the CFTC.
     
  • ProCryptoMinners allegedly based in New York, claims to offer binary options based off the value of commodities like foreign currencies and cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin. It claims to be one of the leading platforms in the U.S. offering binary options, Forex and spreads. It touts its ability to handle customer funds, and claims that its “first priority is the security of our client funds,” for which it has received awards, and further claims that it is regulated by the CFTC.
     
  • ProFX-Capitals allegedly based in New York, claims to offer binary options based off the value of commodities like foreign currencies and cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin. It claims its customers can trade on “Crypto, Forex and Binary Options.” It further directs clients to deposit funds into a wallet to being trading.
     
  • Smarter Signals allegedly based in New York, claims to offer binary options based off the value of commodities like foreign currencies and cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin. It claims to be one of the leading platforms in the U.S. offering binary options, Forex and spreads. It directs clients to choose a payment method and further claims that it is regulated by the CFTC.
     
  • Prime Expert Trade allegedly based in New York and also located in Raleigh, claims to offer binary options based off the value of commodities like foreign currencies and cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin. It claims to be one of the leading platforms in the U.S. offering binary options, Forex and spreads. It directs clients to choose a payment method in order to deposit to the account, and further claims that it is regulated by the CFTC.
     
  • Star Fx Pro allegedly based in New York, claims to offer binary options based off the value of commodities like foreign currencies and cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin. It claims to be one of the leading platforms in the U.S. offering binary options, Forex and spreads. It claims that member funds “are held in segregated accounts in major US banks,” and further claims that it is regulated by the CFTC.
     
  • Excotradeoptions allegedly based in New York, claims to offer binary options based off the value of commodities like foreign currencies and cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin. It claims to be one of the leading platforms in the U.S. offering binary options, Forex and spreads. It touts its ability to handle customer funds, and claims that its “first priority is the security of our client funds,” for which it has received awards, and further claims that it is regulated by the CFTC.

False Claims of CFTC Registration or NFA Membership

Two complaints filed today allege the entities offer services related to trading in futures or other derivative products and falsely claim to be registered with the CFTC and a member of NFA: Climax Capital FX, allegedly located in Walsall, United Kingdom and Houston, Texas, and Digitalexchange24.com, allegedly located in Jasper, Arkansas.

In these two complaints, the false claims are similar. Each complaint alleges that each entity falsely claimed that it “is a registered FCM and RFED with the CFTC and member of the [NFA]” and provided the same NFA ID number. As alleged in the complaints, these entities have never been registered with NFA in any capacity, and according to an NFA database, the NFA ID number identifies an individual who was once registered with the CFTC but has been deceased since 2009. 

The Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Christopher Giglio, Elizabeth C. Brennan, David W. Oakland, Lara Turcik, K. Brent Tomer, Lenel Hickson, Jr., and Manal M. Sultan.

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