The CFTC filed a lawsuit against California based 20/20 Trading Company and 20/20 Precious Metals, as well as employees Bharat Adatia, Sharief McDowell and Todd Krejci. The complaint alleges that the companies and their employees defrauded customers of at least $4 million through deceitful marketing practices, hiding the almost certain fact that an investment in 20/20 Trading or 20/20 Precious Metals would be lost. Furthermore, the employees were charged with fraud as well as unlawful transactions in palladium and copper.
Between 2006 and 2009, Adaita and McDowell solicited investment without disclosing the risky transactions taking place behind the scenes. Nearly all of the $3.8 million fronted by investors was lost, and much of the money was drawn from IRA accounts. When Adatia learned that 20/20 Trading was under investigation by the NFA, he shut it down and opened 20/20 Precious Metals with McDowell and Krejic. Though the three employees told customers 20/20 Precious Metals would purchase and store physical precious metals, no good were ever actually traded or kept. More than $1 million was invested, nearly half of which was taken in commissions. The CFTC is seeking “rescission of all contracts and agreements, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil monetary penalties, trading and registration bans and permanent injunctions against further violations of the federal commodities laws.”