CFTC files $20 million dollar fraud charges in international binary options scheme

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed charges against three individuals and three companies for fraudulently soliciting tens of millions of existing and prospective customers to open and fund off-exchange binary options and digital asset trading accounts, trading in foreign exchange currency pairs, metals and digital assets. The companies executed the scheme through websites operated by unregistered binary options and digital asset brokers.

CFTC charged Daniel Fingerhut of Miami, Florida and three companies that he worked with, Digital Platinum, Inc. (DPI), a Florida corporation, Digital Platinum, Ltd. (DPL), an Israeli company, and Huf Mediya Ltd. (Huf) a Bulgarian company, as well as the control persons of all three entities, Tal Valariola and Itay Barak of Israel.

The Commission alleged that the defendants created fraudulent marketing materials promising monumental profits with no risk of loss and distributed them via email spam and by making online videos. CFTC alleges that the scheme continued from at least October 2013 through August 2018. As a result of the fraudulent marketing campaign, more than 59,000 customers opened and funded trading accounts and generated over $20 million in commissions to the defendants.

The marketing materials allegedly published fake trading performance using advertised binary options and digital asset trading software and systems. The online videos featured actors posing in front of mansions and private jets, claiming to have become rich through trading.

Fingerhut was also found to have made materially false or misleading statements to CFTC staff, including while under oath to hide the extent of his involvement in the fraudulent scheme.

CFTC seeks full restitution to defrauded individuals, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil monetary penalties, permanent registration and trading bans, and permanent injunctions against further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations.

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