CFTC Orders Individuals to Pay $7 Million in a Binary Options Fraud Case

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced on Wednesday that the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida issued orders granting permanent injunctions against a Florida man and foreign defendants for their involvement in a fraudulent binary options and crypto scheme.

According to the press release, Daniel Fingerhut, a resident of Miami, Florida, and Itay Barak, Tal Valariola, and Digital Platinum Limited (DPL), from Israel, are required to pay $7 million in disgorgement and civil monetary penalties for violations of the CFTC regulations. In addition, Fingerhut, Barak, and Valariola were also banned from performing trading activities and filling for registrations.

Court documents say that defendants are accused of fraudulently soliciting ‘tens of millions of customers’ and prospects to open and fund binary options and crypto trading accounts, which were operated through unregistered brokers.

“The orders find that Fingerhut, Barak, and Valariola created, disseminated, and/or facilitated the use of fraudulent solicitations in emails, websites, and video sales letters promising free access to purportedly successful automated trading systems that traded on behalf of clients in binary options involving commodity interests and digital assets. These solicitations misrepresented hypothetical and fictitious trading results as real results and used fabricated customer testimonials,” the CFTC noted.

Also, the authorities are litigating the matter against two additional entity defendants and one relief defendant. The CFTC pointed out that the Israel Securities Authority and the Financial Supervision Commission of Bulgaria assisted in the investigation.

Recent Fraud Cases

Last month, the CFTC filed a civil enforcement action against Abner Alejandro Tinoco and his company Kikit & Mess Investments, LLC for misappropriating investors’ funds. The Texas man has solicited and misappropriated more than $3.9 million. The agency detailed that the alleged perpetrator has been running the scheme since at least September 2020.

He managed to gather the funds from at least 61 clients with assurances of managing their customized trading portfolios in foreign exchange (forex) and cryptocurrency investments.

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