The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has filed a civil lawsuit against Canadian resident Simon Jousef and his business FuturesFX for an alleged foreign exchange (forex) scam.

The US regulator filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The CFTC has charged the defendants with fraudulently soliciting people to subscribe to a trading system, which they claimed included a “live” forex and commodity futures online trading room, educational videos and online support.

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“The defendants allegedly charged members up to approximately $9,000 to receive this access to the trading system.  The CFTC’s complaint alleges that, as a result of the fraudulent solicitation scheme, the defendants received approximately $1.3 million in subscription fees from more than 300 members located in the United States and other countries,” the statement said.

Jousef and FuturesFX have also been charged by the United States regulator with making false or misleading statements to the National Futures Association (NFA) when submitting annual CTA registration updates concerning FuturesFX’s predecessor company.

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In particular, the CFTC complaint states that between at least the 1st of July 2014 until around the end of January 2016, the defendants promoted and sold access to the trading system, which they did so fraudulently.

CFTC: Jousef and FuturesFX mislead consumers

Some of the tactics they used, according to the regulator, was making false or misleading statements and ommissions on the company’s websites and in email advertisements. This includes claims that Jousef was trading forex and commodity futures in a live trading room, when in fact, he never actually traded and only made hypothetical or simulated trades.

The defendants also allegedly claimed that Jousef’s traders were profitable, however, as he never made any trades, this is false. In addition, false and misleading statements were made about Jousef’s experience with trading, including that Jousef was registered with the CFTC as a commodity trading advisor (CTA) when, in fact, he was not.

The watchdog is seeking a number of measures against Jousef and his business FuturesFX. These are the return of ill-gotten gains, restitution to defrauded customers, civil monetary penalties, trading and registration bans, and permanent injunctions against further violations of the federal commodities laws, the statement said.

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