The National Futures Association (NFA) announced today that it has barred Connecticut futures commission merchant Vision Financial Markets LLC and Virginia commodity trading advisor Ace Investment Strategists LLC and its principal, Yu-Dee Chang from membership.
The announcement comes nine months after the NFA charged both entities with various infractions related to Ace’s misappropriation of customer funds involved in trade allocations. Vision was charged with facilitating Ace's actions. NFA's decision stated that, “this activity took place over a three-year period, and that Vision was in a position to detect and stop the abuses.”
It also comes out one week after Vision announced a settlement with the NFA that “fully resolves our pending regulatory complaint, which alleged supervisory errors in Vision’s back office in connection with the allocation of trades and cash residuals for the managed accounts of (Ace).”
The June 12 letter was signed by Robert Boshnack and Howard Rothman, listed as major owners of Vision. Neither Boshnack nor Rothman were named in the comlaint.
A spokesperson for NFA stated that despite the Vision announcement the settlement was not official until today (June 20).
According to the settlement, “Vision will pay a $1.5 million fine in addition to the $2.053 million in restitution it paid to customers on March 15, 2014. Vision was also ordered to withdraw from NFA membership six months from today’s decision, though the hearing panel could extend this timeline for “good cause.”
Ace founder Yu-Dee Chang has agreed to withdraw all NFA memberships within 90 days, including CTA Ace, himself and introducing broker Chesepeake and never apply for membership in the future.
Chang also agreed that that he would send a pre-approved notices within seven days to inform all Ace and Chesapeake customers that they are ceasing business within 90 days of the date of this decision and Ace and Chesapeake shall not solicit or accept any new customers after the date of the issuance of this decision.
Chang had send out a marketing letter urging introducing brokers to aggressively raise assets for his programs shortly after these charges were filed and continued to appear on numerous business media outlets as an equity analyst. Chang has appeared on Fox Business and WBBM Newsradio780, as recently as this May, on numerous occasions after the NFA charges were filed last September.
The settlement effectively bans Chang for life from any official capacity in the futures markets.