The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) revealed that U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Conrad Jr. of North Carolina’s Western District had agreed to a Supplemental Order against Californian Resident Hannes Tulving and his firm The Tulving Company, Inc., on charges that they solicited customers on fraudulent claims related to precious metals trading, after which they embezzled customer money and hid their sham activities with bogus profitable customer account statements.
The Supplemental Order was published on 29 November 2018 obligating the defendants to pay a civil fine of $15,761,432. This follows the same Court’s Consent Order published on 5 January 2016 imposing a permanent ban on registration and trading activities against the accused prohibiting them from violating the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC Regulations in future.
The consent and supplemental orders were issued due to legal action taken by the CFTC which filed charges against the respondents on 11 September 2015. The charges related to offering sham contracts for the sale of various commodities, misappropriation of customer funds for unsanctioned purposes and for the defendants financial gain.
According to the charges, the defendants’ precious metals scam swindled a minimum of 381 clients across the US. The respondent used some of his clients’ funds to settle the firm’s debts, cover losses incurred by other clients and for his own personal needs.
The CFTC warns the victims of the scam that Court Orders that require the accused to return funds to the affected victims may not result in the victims receiving the amounts allocated as the wrongdoers may lack sufficient assets or funds to fulfill the orders.