The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has submitted a civil injunctive enforcement action against Guardian Asset group LLC and its owner Andrew Kurzbard. The regulator claims the defendants took part in illegal-off-exchange transactions involving precious metals. The transactions purportedly involved retail customers and took place on a financed, margined, or leveraged basis.
According to the regulator, from February 2012 through at least February of the following year, Guardian and Kurzbard solicited customers by phone to get them involved in precious metal transactions. The company was able to collect at least $1.7 from its customers related to the transactions while earning over $434K in commissions.
The CFTC said that Guardian accepted customer funds and orders, acting as a Futures Commission Merchant but was not registered with the regulator as an FCM. The regulator says that because Kurzbard is Guardian’s control person, he is liable for its Commodity Exchange Act violations.
The CFTC’s complaint also claims that Guardian executed illegal precious metal transactions using AmeriFirst Management LLC. It was two years ago that the regulator filed an enforcement action against that company, accusing it and others of illegal, off-exchange precious metal transactions. AmeriFirst was charged with numerous violations, including fraud. The agency entered a consent order resolving the claims against AmeriFirst later that year after finding it liable for fraud and of engaging in illegal off-exchange precious metal transactions.
Now, the CFTC wants disgorgement and restitution, as well as civil monetary penalties and specific bans against Guardian and its owner. It also wants a permanent injunction against future violations of the Commodity Exchange Act.
Our securities fraud lawyers have investigated claims made by investors who bought positions in precious metal because their financial adviser or broker recommended that they make the purchase. Many investors are not apprised of the high risks involved that can result in significant losses. Contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP today.