Regulators shut My Forex Funds charging $300 million fraud
U.S. and Canadian financial regulators have shut down Toronto based prop trading firm My Forex Funds (operating at website myforexfunds.com), charging the company and its operator Murtuza Kazmi with running a $300 million+ fraud on retail traders.
The company’s website now carries the following message:
Yesterday we learned that, without prior notice or discussion, a provincial securities regulator in Canada and the commodities regulator in the United States issued orders preventing us from trading securities or accessing funds in our bank accounts.
Until these freeze orders are lifted or modified, our business is effectively, and at least temporarily, frozen as well.
We will be reaching out to the regulators to discuss their concerns, and the first court date to determine whether the freeze orders should be lifted or modified is currently scheduled for September 11 in the US, with another hearing later that same week in Canada.
We hope to have this matter resolved as soon as possible and will update this message as events occur.
In the meantime, U.S. derivatives markets regulator The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has announced that it filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey against Murtuza Kazmi, formerly of Phillipsburg, New Jersey, and his companies, Traders Global Group Inc., a New Jersey corporation and Traders Global Group Inc., a Canadian business organization, all doing business as “My Forex Funds.”
The complaint charges them with fraudulently soliciting customers to trade leveraged, margined, or financed retail foreign exchange (retail forex), and leveraged retail commodity transactions.
On August 29, U.S. District Court Judge Robert B. Kugler signed a statutory restraining order freezing the defendants’ assets; requiring the defendants to submit their books and records to examination by the CFTC; and appointing a temporary receiver. A hearing on the CFTC’s motion for preliminary injunction is scheduled for September 11 before Judge Zahid N. Quraishi in Trenton, N.J.
In its continuing litigation, the CFTC seeks restitution to defrauded investors, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil monetary penalties, permanent trading and registration bans, and a permanent injunction against further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).
“The CFTC’s case against the ‘My Forex Funds’ defendants is emblematic of our commitment to stamping out retail fraud in our markets,” said Director of Enforcement Ian McGinley. “Anyone offering or entering into leveraged retail forex contracts without registration, or offering or entering into leveraged retail commodity contracts off-exchange, is acting in clear violation of the law.”
My Forex Funds Case Background
According to the complaint, the defendants, doing business as “My Forex Funds,” supposedly offered retail customers the opportunity to become “professional traders” by using Traders Global’s money to trade against third-party “liquidity providers” and share in any trading profits. They assured customers that “your success is our business,” and “we only make money when you do.” But, in reality, Traders Global—not a third-party “liquidity provider”—is the counterparty to substantially all customer trades.
The complaint also alleges that Traders Global actively minimizes the likelihood that customers trade profitably by using pretexts to terminate customer accounts, misleadingly assessing commissions that reduce customer account equity, secretly using specialized software to cause customer orders to be executed at worse prices than appeared to the customer at the time an order was sent, and handicapping the extremely small number of successful customers to decrease customer profits and increase customer losses.
As the complaint noted, the Traders Global pitch has been successful, and more than 135,000 customers have signed up for their trading program since November 2021, paying at last $310 million in fees. The complaint alleges Kazmi used proceeds from the fraud to purchase luxury homes and automobiles, and make tens of millions of dollars in transfers to his personal accounts.
Related International Action against My Forex Funds
In a separate action, on August 29, the Ontario Securities Commission issued a temporary cease trade order that includes a prohibition against all trading in any securities by Traders Global Group Inc. and Murtuza Kazmi.
The CFTC said it appreciates the assistance of the Ontario Securities Commission.
A good summary of the charges against My Forex Funds can be seen in the following video, put out by well-followed FX analyst Kathy Lien.