Thursday, April 26, 2007

MICHIGAN RESIDENT STEPHEN PIERCE SETTLES CFTC ACTION CHARGING INTERNET FRAUD VIOLATIONS

MICHIGAN RESIDENT STEPHEN PIERCE SETTLES CFTC ACTION CHARGING INTERNET FRAUD VIOLATIONS

CFTC Order Requires Pierce To Pay A Civil Monetary Penalty and Comply with Undertakings

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today the issuance of an order settling an administrative proceeding against Stephen Pierce of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The CFTC order, entered on January 21, 2003, finds that, from approximately March 2000 through July 2002, Pierce, a registered commodity trading advisor (CTA), sold subscriptions to his futures trading recommendation services through various internet websites.

The order finds that Pierce touted his trading record and failed to disclose that it was based on hypothetical or simulated trading and not actual performance. Further, the websites overstated the profit potential for Pierce’s trading recommendation services and understated the risk of loss. Finally, as a registered CTA who acted as such, Pierce was required to keep certain books and records, including client or subscriber information. The CFTC order finds that he failed to keep such records. The CFTC order arises out of an administrative complaint filed against Pierce on July 30, 2002 (see CFTC News Release 4683, July 30, 2002).

Without admitting or denying the findings in the CFTC order, Pierce consented to the entry of the order finding that he violated anti-fraud provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act, CFTC regulations requiring prescribed cautionary language when presenting simulated or hypothetical trading results, and CFTC recordkeeping requirements.

Specifically, the CFTC order:

  • finds that Pierce violated the Commodity Exchange Act and the CFTC regulations as charged in the complaint;
  • directs him to cease and desist from such further violations;
  • imposes a civil monetary penalty of $25,000; and
  • directs him to comply with specified undertakings regarding representations made on his internet websites.

The following Division of Enforcement staff are responsible for the case: Rosemary Hollinger, Scott R. Williamson, Robert J. Greenwald, Mark H. Bretscher, and Joy H. McCormack.

A copy of the CFTC order can be found at www.cftc.gov.

Media Enforcement Contact:
Rosemary Hollinger
Associate Director
Chicago Regional Counsel
CFTC Division of Enforcement
(312) 596-0520

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