The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) received Federal Court orders to charge three Utah residents from Bentley Equities (Bentley), LLC, over $2.7 million in disgorgement and civil monetary charges for fraudulently soliciting and accepting more than $1.1 million from its customers in relation to commodity futures trading.
In May 2012, Christopher Hales and Eric Richardson were charged for misleading their clients on the success of their futures trading. Bentley Equities told their clients that they were actively managing more than $1 million in commodity futures accounts, when in reality they never managed more than $480,000 in commodity futures at one time. The defendants were also accused of using over $650,000 of their clients’ funds in order to pay for personal expenses like food, auto expenses, clothing, and credit card bills.
According to CFTC.gov, Judge Dee Benson of the United States District Court for the District of Utah entered a Consent Order for the Permanent Injunction again Richardson, who was required to pay $100,000 in disgorgement and a $150,000 civil monetary penalty. Richardson was also permanently banned from engaging in any activities regarding commodities.
Hales and Bentley, on the other hand, were issued an Order of Default Judgment and a Permanent Injunction as well. Hales had to pay $382,080 in disgorgement and $1,146,240 in civil monetary penalties and Bentley had to pay $840,000 in civil monetary penalty. Hales and Bentley were also permanently banned from engaging in any commodity-related activities.