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Foreign Exchange

CFTC targets another dodgy dealer

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission has obtained a federal court order freezing the assets of companies Atwood & James Ltd and Atwood & James SA and the individuals Michael Kardonick and Gary Shapoff. The court has also issued an order prohibiting the destruction of documents as well as appointing a receiver.

The defendants are charged with fraudulently soliciting at least $1.2 million from retail clients to trade FX options. Atwood and Kardonick have been charged with misappropriating client funds. "This forex fraud, which infiltrated the globe as an international enterprise, should remind all investors to exercise prudence and restraint when presented with opportunities to profit with little to no risk. The CFTC reminds investors to conduct their own research and avoid being duped. The bottom line always is: If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is," says the CFTC’s acting director of enforcement Stephen Obie.

The CFTC’s complaint says that defendants, "allegedly made extraordinary and false claims regarding Atwood, including that:

• Atwood clients will never lose their principal and that profits are virtually guaranteed; • Atwood is a sophisticated world-wide company with offices in New York, Amsterdam, London, and Rio de Janeiro; • Atwood’s traders are licensed and regulated in the United States with their main corporate offices located in Rochester, New York; and • Atwood and Kardonick have been successfully trading foreign currency options for the past 30 years."

According to the CFTC, the only known trading accounts show Kardonick lost $1.7

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