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July 10, 2008
NFA permanently bars Florida firm, Sterling International Commodities; sanctions its principal and associated persons
July 10, Chicago - National Futures Association (NFA) has permanently barred Sterling International Commodities (Sterling) from NFA membership and suspended its principal, Todd Marshall, for a period of three years. Sterling is an Introducing Broker located in Pompano Beach, Florida. The Decision, issued by an NFA Hearing Panel, is based on a Complaint filed in June 2007 and a settlement offer submitted by Sterling and Marshall.
The Panel found that Sterling and Marshall made misleading sales solicitations to customers that exaggerated the profit potential and minimized the risk of loss of trading options and spreads. Their sales solicitations also misrepresented the performance of Sterling and its associated persons' (APs) customers. In addition, Sterling and Marshall's sales solicitations misrepresented that their commissions were normal when, in fact, the commissions were excessive; suggested that a customer's out-of-the-money unleaded gas options would move in tandem with the cash price of unleaded gas; and failed to disclose that the majority of their customers lost money prior to these solicitations. Additionally, the Panel found that Sterling and Marshall used high-pressure sales tactics, failed to supervise their sales employees and that Sterling failed to keep current books and records.
The Panel found that Miles, Scott and McCullough made misleading sales solicitations and failed to disclose that the majority of their customers lost money prior to these solicitations. Miles and McCullough are suspended from NFA membership for a period of one year and Scott for a period of sixty days.
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