CFTC Charges Florida-Based Oakmont Financial, Inc. and Joseph Charles DiCrisci with Engaging in Illegal, Off-Exchange Precious Metals Transactions
Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed a civil injunctive enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Defendants Oakmont Financial, Inc. (Oakmont) of Boynton Beach, Florida, and Joseph Charles DiCrisci of New York, New York, an Oakmont owner and principal. The CFTC Complaint charges the Defendants with engaging in illegal, off-exchange transactions in precious metals with retail customers on a leveraged, margined, or financed basis. The Complaint further alleges that DiCrisci managed, or controlled those who controlled, the day-to-day operations of Oakmont, and therefore, as controlling person for Oakmont, is liable for Oakmont’s violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).
According to the Complaint, from at least July 16, 2011, and continuing through at least July 27, 2012, Oakmont, by and through its employees, solicited retail customers by telephone to engage in leveraged, margined, or financed precious metals transactions. During that period, Oakmont collected at least $2,308,228 from at least 107 customers in connection with precious metals transactions and, of this amount, received commissions and fees totaling at least $735,329. The Complaint also alleges that Oakmont accepted customer orders and funds and therefore acted as a Futures Commission Merchant (FCM), but failed to register with the CFTC as an FCM, as required.
Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, leveraged, margined, or financed transactions, such as those conducted by Oakmont, are illegal off-exchange transactions unless they result in actual delivery of metals within 28 days. The Complaint alleges that metals were never actually delivered in connection with the leveraged, margined, or financed precious metals transactions made on behalf of Oakmont’s customers.
The Complaint also alleges that Oakmont executed the illegal precious metals transactions through Hunter Wise, LLC (Hunter Wise). The CFTC filed an enforcement action against Hunter Wise on December 5, 2012, charging it and other Defendants with engaging in illegal, off-exchange precious metals transactions, and charging Hunter Wise with fraud and other violations (see CFTC Press Releases 6447-12).
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