Introducing broker Foremost Trading hit with $1.1M fine for fictitious trades
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued two orders today filing and resolving charges for fraud, unauthorized and fictitious trading, and failing to diligently supervise the handling of a customer account against Mark Miller and registered introducing broker Foremost Trading LLC, both of Illinois. Miller is a principal and associated person of Foremost.
The orders require Miller to pay a $250,000 civil monetary penalty, Foremost to pay a $200,000 civil monetary penalty, and Miller and Foremost to pay, jointly and severally, $723,013 in restitution. Pursuant to the order against Miller, he is suspended from trading on or subject to the rules of any CFTC-designated exchange and all other CFTC-registered entities, as well as all commodity interests for a period of two years. Miller is also permanently prohibited from applying for registration, claiming exemption from registration, and from engaging in any activity requiring registration with the CFTC.
“Customers need to be able to trust the professionals they empower to trade their accounts,” said CFTC Director of Enforcement James McDonald. “When someone trading on behalf of a customer commits fraud or trades in a fictitious manner, the Commission will act to address the misconduct, including through bans on trading for others.”
According to the orders, starting in February 2014 and lasting through at least August 2016, Miller orchestrated at least 45 round-turn unauthorized, fictitious trades between proprietary accounts he owned with family members and a customer’s accounts over which he had trading authority. These round-turn trades moved money out of the customer’s accounts and into the proprietary accounts.
Miller also engaged in almost 500 other unauthorized, fictitious trades for this customer that allowed him to establish a futures or options position in the proprietary accounts without competitive execution, and in many cases for a much better price than would have otherwise been obtainable. Finally, Miller misappropriated funds from the customer by reporting phony errors to their futures commission merchant and by requesting that winning trades be moved into the proprietary accounts.
The CFTC’s investigation was conducted in conjunction with a parallel inquiry by CME Group, which has taken disciplinary action against Miller and Foremost. The CFTC thanks CME Group for its assistance in this matter.