The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced a Final Order that states it will not intervene in the decision to revoke Pro Trading Course, LLC’s CTA registration. The decision was apparently entered by a Judgment Officer.
In April, 2012, the CFTC charged Pro Trading Course with solicitation fraud. This is from the CFTC’s initial statement:
The complaint alleges that PTC solicited clients for its training program through the use of employment advertisements placed on Craig’s List and other websites. After individuals responded to the employment advertisements, PTC and Regan allegedly used false and misleading promotional material and sales solicitations that overstated the advancement opportunity and profit potential of the commodity futures training program PTC was selling. The defendants’ promotional material and solicitations also allegedly failed to disclose that no PTC commodity futures trader ever advanced beyond Level 1 of the program or received the large monthly profit distributions depicted on PTC’s “Payout Charts.”
Further, the complaint alleges that PTC and Regan used false and misleading promotional material and sales solicitations to sell access to PTC’s Virtual Trading Room (VTR). Defendants described VTR as a “trade room” operated on trading days by Regan and his team of purportedly elite traders that allowed subscribers to observe and make the same trades as Regan and his team, according to the complaint. The promotional material and sales solicitations allegedly created the impression that VTR sessions involved actual commodity futures trading, but failed to disclose that Regan and his team conducted only simulated trading in these VTR sessions.
From Today’s CFTC Statement:
The Judgment Officer’s decision, entered on December 14, 2012, finds that PTC failed to file an answer to the formal notice that the CFTC made to PTC on September 20, 2012, of the CFTC’s intent to revoke the company’s registration (see Related Link: CFTC Press Release 6356-12). The decision also finds that the factual grounds supporting the revocation are deemed to be true – in particular, that a Default Judgment Order entered by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against PTC on May 29, 2012, which found that PTC violated the anti-fraud provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and permanently enjoined PTC from engaging in fraudulent conduct in violation of the CEA, provided a valid basis for revoking PTC’s CTA registration.
A CTA is defined by the NFA as:
an individual or organization which, for compensation or profit, advises others as to the value or advisability of buying or selling futures contracts, options on futures, or retail off-exchange forex contracts. Providing advice includes exercising trading authority over a customer’s account as well as giving advice based upon knowledge of or tailored to customer’s particular commodity interest account, particular commodity interest trading activity, or other similar types of information.
CTAs must register with the CFTC and become members of the NFA, but may be exempt from the registration requirement in some cases.