CFTC charges New York resident with commodity pool fraud

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced the filing of a civil enforcement action on April 23, 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York charging Defendant Kevin Scott Antonovich of Woodside, New York, with misappropriation of customer funds and fraudulent solicitation in connection with investments in a commodity pool. The CFTC Complaint also charges Antonovich with registration violations.

As alleged in the CFTC Complaint, from September 2015 through August 2016, Antonovich fraudulently solicited and received approximately $284,000 from at least 154 pool participants in connection with pooled investments in off-exchange binary options.  As further alleged, Antonovich misappropriated approximately $124,000 of pool participant funds for business expenses and his personal use, made false and misleading representations to pool participants, and fabricated documents purporting to show funds available for return to pool participants.

According to the Complaint, Antonovich told pool participants that his trading for the pool would occur on a CFTC-registered exchange when, in fact, all trading occurred on offshore platforms.  As further alleged, Antonovich issued numerous updates to pool participants falsely claiming that his trading for the pool was profitable.  In addition, when pool participants sought payouts from the pool, Antonovich falsely claimed that funds were available to be paid out and fabricated trading account and bank documents to give pool participants the false impression that funds were available to satisfy not only return of principal funds, but also payment of purported profits.

In its continuing civil litigation, the CFTC seeks restitution to defrauded pool participants, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil monetary penalties, permanent registration and trading bans, and a permanent injunction against further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act, as charged.

The CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this action are James Garcia, Kevin Samuel, Alison B. Wilson, and Rick Glaser.