The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that Judge Gregory A. Presnell of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida issued an order granting a permanent injunction against Ronald Montano, a resident of St. Cloud, Florida, and Montano Enterprises LLC (MEL), and requiring them to pay a combined $2.5 million in restitution and civil monetary penalty for solicitation fraud in connection with binary options trading.

The order specifically requires Montano and MEL to pay restitution in the amount of $825,000 and a civil monetary penalty of $1.675 million. Montano and MEL are also ordered to cease and desist from further violating the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations, from trading on or subject to the rules of any CFTC-registered entity, and from engaging in any activities requiring registration with the CFTC.

The court’s order stems from a CFTC complaint filed on September 27, 2018, charging Montano and MEL with solicitation fraud in connection with binary options trading.

The order finds that Montano used 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. These solicitations misrepresented hypothetical and fictitious trading results as real results, used fabricated customer testimonials, and misstated the experience, background, and skill of the “creators” of these automated trading systems.

The CFTC cautions victims that restitution orders may not result in the recovery of money lost because wrongdoers may not have sufficient funds or assets.