CFTC Announces Formation of Retail Foreign Currency Fraud Enforcement Task Force

Washington, DC— The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has formed a special task force charged with investigating and litigating fraud in the off-exchange retail foreign currency (forex) market.

The creation of the task force within the Division of Enforcement comes in the wake of Congress’ passage in June 2008 of “The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008” that clarified and strengthened the CFTC’s jurisdiction over this market. The task force will focus on fraud in the retail forex market and will work cooperatively with other federal and state regulatory and criminal authorities.

“The formation of the CFTC’s new Forex Enforcement Task Force reaffirms our agency’s commitment to stopping unscrupulous individuals working in this space. Not only do forex fraudsters prey upon unsuspecting citizens, but their illegal activities taint the reputations of those working honestly in the futures industry,” said CFTC Commissioner Michael Dunn, head of the agency’s Forex Education and Outreach Task Force. “This announcement sends a clear signal that the CFTC is on the beat, and that our continued and increased cooperation with law enforcement authorities will help put these forex dealers where they belong – in jail.”

“Forex fraud impacts investors of all stripes,” CFTC Acting Director of Enforcement Stephen J. Obie said. “With the creation of the retail forex task force, the CFTC has committed the resources necessary to expand its efforts to identify and prosecute those who commit fraud in the retail forex market.”

Since enactment of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act in 2000, the CFTC has filed nearly 100 enforcement actions against firms and individuals selling illegal forex futures and option contracts. To date, the CFTC has obtained judgments in these enforcement actions for civil monetary penalties of approximately $560 million and restitution of investor losses totaling $450 million.

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