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March 28, 2012
NFA fines California firm Option Investments, Inc.; sanctions its principals and several associated persons
March 28, Chicago - National Futures Association (NFA) has levied a $75,000 fine against Option Investments, Inc. ("OpVest"), a Commodity Trading Advisor and an Introducing Broker NFA Member located in Irvine, California. Scott A. Altenburg and Andre Julian, principals of the firm, were also sanctioned by NFA, along with several other associated persons (APs). The Decision, issued by NFA's Business Conduct Committee, is based on an NFA Complaint filed in March 2012 and a settlement offer submitted by OpVest, Altenburg, Julian and its APs: Robert M. Hudson, Kyle E. Aure, Jason S. Boyle, Scott A. Daugherty, Mitchell Fee, Robert M. Hart and Sean L. Kirksey Branum.
The Complaint charged OpVest, Hudson, Aure, Boyle, Daugherty, Fee, Hart and Branum with failing to observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade by recommending trades to customers that maximized commissions without regard for the best interests of their customers. The Complaint also alleged OpVest, Altenburg and Julian failed to diligently supervise trade recommendations made by OpVest's APs. OpVest, Altenburg and Julian must pay $75,000 each in fines and must put together a process to detect and remediate abusive trading recommendations by its brokers going forward.
OpVest's APs were sanctioned as follows: Hudson is barred for five years from NFA membership; Branum, Daugherty and Hart are all barred from NFA membership for one year and will each have to pay a $5,000 fine if they want to reapply to become NFA Members in the future. Finally, Aure, Boyle and Fee are barred from NFA membership for three months and will each have to pay a $20,000 fine if they reapply to become NFA Members.
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