The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced on Thursday that two Israeli web-based binary brokers, Vault and GT 365, were ordered to pay more than 4.5 million by US court and imposed permanent trading bans for unlawful off-exchange binary options trading, fraud, and registration violations.
The Court’s order requires Vault Options, Ltd. (Vault) and Global Trader 365 (GT 365) to jointly and severally pay a $3 million civil monetary penalty and $1,587,731 in restitution to their defrauded customers.
The court order, which stems from a CFTC Complaint filed in February, finds that the two defendants violated the Commodity Exchange Act’s ban on off-exchange options trading and off-exchange swaps trading by entering into binary commodity option contracts with retail U.S. customers. The Order also finds that the two binary brokers defrauded customers by making false representations in their solicitations and misappropriating their funds. Operating as unregistered Futures Commission Merchants, Vault and GT 365 solicited and accepted at least $1.6 million from U.S. customers from 22 states for the purpose of entering into these unlawful deals.
Nonetheless, the CFTC cautions victims that such court orders requiring repayment of funds to victims may not result in the recovery of any money lost because the wrongdoers may not have sufficient funds or assets. The US authority also notes that registration is no guarantee against fraud, but does bring a higher level of security and accountability to the public.
CFTC says it will continue to fight for the protection of customers and to ensure the wrongdoers are held accountable. Indeed, the US regulator imposes massive penalties for soliciting US citizens even to reputable binary brokers such as Banc de Binary. After the Dodd–Frank Act was passed, only US regulated brokers are allowed to deal with US forex traders and the authorities are very strict about that. Currently, the only legal venues for U.S. retail traders to transact in binary options are IG’s Nadex, which released its spectacular Q2 2016 yesterday, and New York-based Cantor Exchange.
Furthermore, CFTC maintains a Binary Options Customer Fraud Advisory and “RED” List, where warnings against unregistered brokers are entered. Lately CFTC has added 23 foreign forex and binary options to its RED list.