A South Florida resident and his company, International Monetary Metals, Inc., have been ordered to pay more than $9.8 million in penalties for alleged illegal, off-exchange precious metals transactions and registration violations.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said Monday that Judge William J. Zloch of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted the CFTC’s motion for a final default judgment against the company and Martin Sommers, of Cooper City, who controls the company.
From July 16, 2011 to March 31, 2013, Sommers and his company solicited retail customers to engage in leveraged, margined, or financed precious metals (including gold and silver) transactions and IMM received, in aggregate, $2,469,783 in commissions from 185 such customers, the judgment states.
Sommers and IMM conducted their customers’ precious metals through Worth Group Inc., based in Jupiter and AmeriFirst Managment LLC, Fort Lauderdale. Precious metals were never actually delivered to customers, court documents state.
In February, Worth Group, its owner Andrew Wilshire and its sole officer and director, Eugenia Mildner, who is Wilshire’s sister, both of Jupiter, were ordered to pay a total of $2.5 million. The order also imposed permanent trading, solicitation and registration bans against them.
AmeriFirst and three defendants in that case were required to pay more than $25 million in restitution and $10 million in civil monetary penalties, the CFTC said.
Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, off-exchange leveraged, margined, or financed transactions such as those conducted by the Defendants are illegal unless they result in actual delivery of metal within 28 days.
Consumers can report suspicious activities or information, such as possible violations of commodity trading laws, to the CFTC Division of Enforcement via a Toll-Free Hotline, 866-366-2382 or or file a tip or complaint online.