Articles Tagged with CFTC

Atlantas Group Inc. and hits owner and president Edmund Hysni have reached a $7.2M settlement with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The money is restitution and civil penalty to settle charges of solicitation fraud and the purported making by Hysni of material false statements to the National Futures Association.

According to the CFTC order, between ’06 and ’12 Atlantas and Hysni falsely represented to customers that they would be giving back about 300% of customers’ initial investments, their investment strategy was conservative and safe, and their performance history was a successful one. The charges against the firm and Hysni are related to options on futures contracts trading that took place on the Commodity Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade.

The regulator said that contrary to the misrepresentations, Hysni and Atlantas invested clients’ funds in an out-of-the-money option spread that caused customers to suffer financial losses. Also, Atlantas is accused of collecting about 90% of clients’ losses in commissions while misrepresenting the impact of the commissions. The commissions, said the SEC, affected customer losses and profits, the trading strategy used, and how much Atlantas charged customers.

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UBS to Pay $33M to NCUA Related to MBS Sold to Credit Unions
UBS AG (UBS) will pay $33 million to resolve a lawsuit filed by the National Credit Union Administration accusing the bank of selling toxic mortgage-backed securities to credit unions. The case revolves around MBS that were underwritten and sold by UBS. The securities were purchased by Members United Corporate Federal Credit Union and Southwest Corporate Federal Credit Union for almost $432.4M from ’06 to ’07.

NCUA alleged that offering documents for the securities sold included untrue statements claiming that the loans were originated in a manner that abided by underwriting guidelines when, in fact, the loans’ originators had “systematically abandoned” said guidelines. The false statements made the securities riskier than what was represented to the credit unions. Eventually, the MBS failed, resulting in substantial losses.

To date, NUCA has recovered almost $2.46B from banks over MBS sales that occurred prior to the 2008 financial crisis.

US, UK Regulators May Pursue More Banks Over Libor
According to the The Wall Street Journal, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the UK Financial Conduct Authority are working on pressing the last civil charges against a number of banks for alleged rigging of the London interbank offered rate. LIBOR is the benchmark that underpins interest rates on trillions of dollars of financial contracts around the globe.

Sources tell WSJ that the firms under scrutiny include Citigroup (C), J.P. Morgan Chase & Co (JPM)., and HSBC Holdings (HSBC)—although the FCA has already dismissed its probe into J.P. Morgan.

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The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission is fining MF Global Holdings Ltd. $100 million to settle allegations that the firm participated in wrongdoing that led to its own demise. In addition to the fine, the futures brokerage is responsible for giving back $1.212 billion in client funds that its MF Global Inc. was told to return last year. The company was also told to pay a $100 million penalty.

The consent order, which has just been entered by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York’s Judge Victor Marrero, stems from a CFTC amended complaint charging MF Global Holdings and other defendants with unlawfully using customer money. As part of the settlement, the firm has admitted to the allegations related to its liability, which are related to its agents’ acts and omissions that were named in the complaint and order.

The CFTC said that MF Global Holdings, which ran the operations of MF Global Inc., was accountable for the latter’s unlawful use of segregated customer funds during the final week of October 2011. The Complaint accused MF Global Holdings of being responsible for its unit’s failure to notify the agency right away when it became aware of (or should have known) about the deficiencies that were arising in customer accounts, submission of false statements that did not show these deficiencies in reports to the CFTC, and its use of customer money for investments not allowed in securities that were very liquid or not readily marketable.

FINRA Fines WGF Investments $700,000 for Supervisory Failures

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is fining WGF Investments $700,000 for failing to commit the attention, time, and resources to certain duties related to supervising registered representatives. WGF is a midsize independent brokerage firm.

According to the self-regulatory organization, from 3/07-1/14, WGF did not supervise private securities transactions of one representative and failed to keep up an adequate supervisory system to make sure that the customer transactions taking place were suitable. The broker-dealer also is accused of not properly supervising one representative’s alternative investment sales.

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