The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (FCTC) announced that a Florida Court issued an order granting a permanent injunction against Ronald Montano, a resident of St. Cloud, Florida, and Montano Enterprises LLC (MEL), and requiring them to pay a combined $2.5 million in restitution and civil monetary penalty for running fraud marketing campaigns in connection with binary options trading. The CFTC filed a fraud complaint on September 27, 2018, charging Montano and MEL with solicitation a/k/a marketing fraud in connection with binary options trading.
The CFTC Case
The order finds that Ronald Montano and his Montano Enterprises LLC used fraudulent solicitations to market binary options schemes. He used emails, websites, and video sales letters promising free access to purportedly successful automated trading systems that traded on behalf of clients in binary options involving commodity interests. These solicitations misrepresented hypothetical and fictitious trading results as real results, used fabricated customer testimonials, and misstated the experience, background, and skill of the “creators” of these automated trading systems.
Penalty and Restitution
The order specifically requires Montano and MEL to pay restitution in the amount of $825,000 and a civil monetary penalty of $1.675 million. Montano and MEL are also ordered to cease and desist from further violating the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations, from trading on or subject to the rules of any CFTC-registered entity, and from engaging in any activities requiring registration with the CFTC.
The SEC Case
In January 2020, the U.S. SEC announced that it had joined the CFTC in imposing a record penalty on the operators of the fraudulent All In Publishing (AIP) affiliate marketing scheme. Ronald Montano and his Montano Enterprises were part of the AIP scheme. The AIP Scheme defrauded some 68,000 US victims and violated several sections of the Securities Exchange Act and the Commodity Exchange Act. Between October 2013 and June 2016, AIP received $27,000,000 in commissions. (please read our report here).