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March 30, 2022
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NFA orders Dallas, Texas introducing broker and commodity trading advisor Member Coquest Incorporated to pay a $275,000 fine
March 30, Chicago—NFA has ordered Coquest Incorporated (Coquest), an NFA Member introducing broker and commodity trading advisor located in Dallas, Texas, to pay a $275,000 fine. John Alan Vassallo, a principal and associated person (AP) of Coquest, shares liability with the firm jointly and severally for $150,000.
The Decision, issued by NFA's Business Conduct Committee (BCC), is based on a Complaint issued by the Committee and a settlement offer submitted by Coquest, Vassallo and Dennis Todd Weinmann, another firm principal and AP, in which they neither admitted nor denied the allegations. The Complaint alleged, among other things, that Coquest violated NFA Bylaw 1101 by doing futures business with an affiliate that was not an NFA Member but was required to be registered with the CFTC and was not. In addition, the Complaint alleged that Coquest and Vassallo negligently misrepresented to NFA that the non-Member affiliate was eligible for an exemption from CFTC registration. The Complaint also alleged that Vassallo facilitated a decade-long violation of Bylaw 1101, both while serving as an AP and principal of a former Member firm and while serving as an AP and principal of Coquest. Additionally, the Complaint alleged that Coquest, Vassallo and Weinmann failed to supervise. In its Decision, the BCC found that Coquest violated NFA Bylaw 1101 and NFA Compliance Rules 2-4 and 2-9(a); that Vassallo violated NFA Compliance Rules 2-4 and 2-9(a); and that Weinmann violated NFA Compliance Rule 2-9(a).