On May 7, 2020, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission brought suit in federal court in Florida against  Daniel Fingerhut of Miami, Florida, and three companies that he worked with, Digital Platinum, Inc. (DPI), a Florida corporation, Digital Platinum, Ltd. (DPL), an Israeli company, and Huf Mediya Ltd. (Huf) a Bulgarian company, as well as the control persons of all three entities, Tal Valariola and Itay Barak.

According to the Complaint, beginning in at least October 2013 and continuing through August 2018, the defendants allegedly created fraudulent marketing materials which promised astronomical profits with no risk of loss and disseminated them via email spam and by making videos available online. The marketing materials touted fake trading performance using advertised binary options and digital asset trading software and systems. The marketing videos typically featured actors—often posing in front of props such as mansions and private jets—who falsely claimed they had become rich trading.

The Complaint provides the following ironic example of a fabricated promotional statement delivered by an actor:

See anyone can throw numbers around and whip up some proof shots. All the scamers [sic] do it. This isn’t that. This is a completely different playing field. And you’re going to see real proof … you can’t deny… and … in a way you’ve never seen before in your life.

Everything I’m about to tell you is 100% real and was experienced by me firsthand.

According to the Complaint, tens of millions of solicitations were sent.  Over 59,000 customers opened and funded trading accounts as a result of these fraudulent marketing campaigns, which generated payments of over $20 million in commissions to the defendants The CFTC seeks full restitution to defrauded individuals, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil monetary penalties, permanent registration and trading bans, and permanent injunctions against further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations, as charged.

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David Zaslowsky has a degree in computer science and, before going to Yale Law School, was a computer programmer. He is currently the Chairman of the Litigation Department of the firm’s New York office. His practice focuses on international litigation and arbitration. He has been involved in cases in trial and appellate courts across the United States and before arbitral institutions around the world. Many of David’s cases, including some patent cases, have related to technology. Since 2008, David has been included in Chambers for his expertise in international arbitration.