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April 27, 2010
NFA permanently bars Chicago firm AVS Carter Financial, Inc. and sanctions its principal
April 27, Chicago - National Futures Association (NFA) has permanently barred AVS Carter Financial, Inc. (AVS Carter Financial) from NFA membership. AVS Carter Financial is a Commodity Trading Advisor located in Chicago, Illinois. Shahzad Akram, the firm's sole principal, is also barred from NFA membership for a period of two years. Akram must pay a fine of $5,000 if he reapplies for NFA membership after the expiration of the two-year bar. The Decision, issued by an NFA Hearing Panel, is based on an NFA Complaint filed in August 2009 and a settlement offer submitted by AVS Carter Financial and Akram. As part of its settlement, AVS Carter Financial agreed to permanently withdraw from NFA membership and consented to findings that it committed the violations alleged in the Complaint without admitting or denying the allegations. Ahmad Mirza, Vivek Reddy, and Sabyasachi Upadhyay are expressly excluded from the bar imposed on AVS Carter Financial.
The Panel found that AVS Carter Financial used a misleading website as well as misleading customer account documents and account statements. As alleged in the Complaint, all of the U.S. customers with whom NFA spoke expressed confusion regarding the non-regulated "AVS Carter" entity they were doing business with as well as which entities were actually regulated. Only AVS Carter Financial was regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and NFA. The Panel also found that Akram failed to supervise AVS Carter Financial's promotional material and website.
Along with the permanent bar, AVS Carter Financial must also deactivate, if it has not done so already, all of its websites that promote the firm and websites over which the firm has control.
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