29 November, AtoZForex – One of the key financial regulators in the US, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has issued an announcement on its website.
The regulator has obtained a Consent order against two defendants and their companies. Namely, the two individuals are Joseph Dufresne (a/k/a/ Joseph James) and Megan Renkow (a/k/a Megan James). The companies under the spotlight are United Business Servicing, LLC and United Business Servicing, Inc.
Alleged fraudsters were doing business as SchoolofTrade.com (SoT).
Is School of Trade Scam or Reliable? CFTC Fines SoT
Both the defendants are associated with Palos Verdes Estates, California. All the defendants were charged with fraud among other breaches in relation to the offer and sale of futures trading strategies and systems, according to the regulatory statement.
The official announcement from the CFTC states:
“The Consent Order, entered by Judge John A. Kronstadt, U.S. District Judge for the Central District of California, on November 22, 2017, requires Dufresne, Renkow, and United Business jointly and severally, to pay restitution to defrauded investors totaling $3,941,157 and a $1 million civil monetary penalty.”
Aside from the monetary sanctions, CFTC banned Defendants from trading in any market regulated by the CFTC. Moreover, the regulator has prohibited the defendants from applying for registration or claiming exemption from registration with CFTC.
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CFTC recorded multiple violations
Following this, the Consent Order takes its roots in a CFTC enforcement action that dates back to September 30, 2016. In the order, the Court rules out that the Defendants have been engaging in a systematic pattern of false statements and omissions in regard to the promotion of SoT’s trading strategies and systems.
To be specific, the CFTC has published the exact actions that led to the Court decision. The Court found out that Defendants:
1) touted the profitability of SoT’s trading strategies and systems and claimed hundreds of thousands of trading profits earned every year when, in fact, none of the Defendants’ accounts has ever been profitable;
2) falsely represented to customers and prospective customers that Dufresne was a successful professional trader with years of experience and numerous awards when, in fact, Dufresne has little experience, has never been professionally recognized and has never been a profitable trader; and
3) purported to make profitable trades in live accounts in real time in SoT’s “Live Trade Room” when, in fact, none of the trades called or profits claimed to have been made in the “Live Trade Room” can be found in any of Defendants’ accounts.
Moreover, the Court also found that Defendants have failed to properly show in their solicitation materials particular disclosure statements that are required under CFTC Regulations.
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