Washington, D.C. — The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced the filing of an enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, charging defendant Casper Mikkelsen, a/k/a “Carsten Nielsen,” a/k/a “Brian Thomson,” a/k/a “Thomas Jensen,” a/k/a Casper Muller,” a resident of Denmark, with engaging in a $1.5 million foreign currency (forex) fraud scheme and registration violations.
“This complaint reaffirms our steadfast commitment to working in parallel with foreign authorities to protect participants in our markets and hold fraudsters accountable wherever in the world they are located,” said CFTC Director of Enforcement James McDonald.
The CFTC complaint alleges that from at least 2015 to the present, Mikkelsen engaged in a fraudulent scheme to solicit at least $1.5 million from at least 101 individuals and entities to invest with a supposed company called GNTFX to trade retail leveraged or margined forex. According to the complaint, rather than using those funds for forex trading as promised, Mikkelsen instead misappropriated at least some clients’ funds. As alleged, most clients deposited their funds into bank accounts in the U.S., while others deposited their funds into an overseas account and/or with an American ecommerce company for the purpose of trading forex. Client funds were withdrawn from the U.S. bank accounts by Mikkelsen through his debit card, as well as transferred from the U.S. bank accounts to an overseas bank, and from there to a Bitcoin address for Mikkelsen’s benefit. Mikkelsen then used the money to pay certain clients purported forex trading profits as is typical in a Ponzi scheme.
The complaint also alleges that Mikkelsen was required to register as a commodity trading advisor but failed to do so.
In its continuing litigation, the CFTC seeks full restitution to defrauded clients, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil monetary penalties, permanent registration and trading bans, and a permanent injunction against violations of the federal commodities laws, as charged.
The CFTC acknowledges and thanks U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, International Financial Services Commission of Belize, British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission, Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, Czech National Bank, Danish Financial Supervisory Authority, Central Bank of Ireland, Financial and Capital Market Commission of the Republic of Latvia, Securities Commission Malaysia, Ontario Securities Commission, Comissão do Mercado de Valores Mobiliários (the Portuguese Securities Market Commission), Monetary Authority of Singapore, and UK Financial Conduct Authority.
The Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Xavier Romeu-Matta, Judith Slowly, Christopher Giglio, James G. Wheaton, Steven I. Ringer, Lenel Hickson, Jr., and Manal M. Sultan.
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CFTC’s Foreign Currency (Forex) Fraud Advisory
The CFTC has issued several customer protection Fraud Advisories that provide the warning signs of fraud, including the Foreign Currency (Forex) Trading Fraud Advisory, to help customers identify this sort of scam.
The CFTC also strongly urges the public to verify a company’s registration with the Commission before committing funds. If unregistered, a customer should be wary of providing funds to that entity. A company’s registration status can be found using NFA BASIC.
Customers and other individuals can report suspicious activities or information, such as possible violations of commodity trading laws, to the Division of Enforcement via a toll-free hotline 866-FON-CFTC (866-366-2382) or file a tip or complaint online.