The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that it filed a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada charging Mirko “Mick” Schacke of Antioch, California, and his company, TradeMasters USA, LLC (https://www.trademastersusa.com), of Las Vegas, Nevada (the Defendants) with fraud and failing to register with the CFTC, as required. The CFTC also charges TradeMasters with failing to provide required disclosures to investors.
On the same day that the CFTC Complaint was filed, August 15, 2016, Chief Judge Gloria M. Navarro issued a statutory restraining Order prohibiting the Defendants from destroying books and records and granting the CFTC immediate access to such records. The Court scheduled a hearing for August 26, 2016, on the CFTC’s separate motion for a preliminary injunction.
The CFTC’s Complaint alleges that, from June 2013 to the present, Schacke and TradeMasters have fraudulently solicited and accepted at least $155,626 from at least 36 individuals to purchase TradeMasters’ automated futures trading software that Defendants sold for as little as $1,500 and as much as $20,000.
According to the Complaint, the Defendants made numerous misrepresentations to investors, including on TradeMasters public website and on YouTube videos, to induce them to purchase the software. Schacke and TradeMasters allegedly made false statements to customers that they would make large profits from using the software. Specifically, the Complaint alleges, they claimed that at least one customer earned 300% in just three months, and that most users of the software generate a monthly income of $5,000 to $10,000.
The Complaint also alleges that Schacke personally executed trades for at least two customers who had complained that the software was not generating profits as advertised. Schacke did this despite TradeMasters and Schacke not obtaining the required registrations as a commodity trading advisor and an associated person, respectively, the Complaint states. Additionally, the Complaint charges Schacke and Trademasters with failing to provide the required disclosures concerning client testimonials on the TradeMasters website.
In its request for relief against the Defendants, the CFTC seeks full restitution to defrauded investors, disgorgement of any ill-gotten gains, a civil monetary penalty, permanent registration and trading bans, and a permanent injunction against future violations of federal commodities laws, as charged.
CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this action are Joseph Patrick, Susan B. Padove, Susan Gradman, Scott R. Williamson, and Rosemary Hollinger.