The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that it obtained a federal court Order requiring Defendants Victor Yu of San Jose, Calif., and his company, VFRS, LLC (VFRS), to pay restitution of nearly $2.15 million, disgorgement of more than $270,000, and a civil monetary penalty of over $800,000. The Order also imposes permanent trading and registration bans against Yu and VFRS and permanently prohibits them from further violations of federal commodities law, as charged.
The Order for Default Judgment and Permanent Injunction was entered on March 26, 2013, by Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The Order stems from a CFTC Complaint filed on July 26, 2012, that charged Yu and VFRS with defrauding clients in connection with off-exchange foreign currency (forex) trading and failing to register with the CFTC as a Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA) (see CFTC Press Release 6320-12, July 30, 2012).
The court’s Order finds that the Defendants fraudulently induced more than 100 individuals to open forex trading accounts. In their client solicitations, the Defendants misrepresented that they had developed trading software that made forex trading “extremely safe” and that would prevent clients from ever reaching certain loss thresholds, the Order finds. The Defendants also misrepresented to some prospective clients that their trading software had shown positive returns on every trade it ever made and had successfully predicted activity in the currency markets back to the 1920s, according to the Order.
The Order further finds that, from 2009 to the present, the Defendants induced their clients to invest over $5 million in forex trading accounts, and clients lost almost $2.15 million during the same period. The Defendants received over $270,000 in service fees from those clients, the Order finds.
Once clients opened forex trading accounts, the Order finds that Yu and VFRS instructed them to give Defendants their log-in and password information so that the Defendants could place trades in their accounts. By this conduct, Yu acted as a CTA without being registered as such, according to the Order.
CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Robert Howell, Jennifer Smiley, Joseph Patrick, Susan Gradman, Scott Williamson, Rosemary Hollinger, and Richard Wagner.