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US regulators are imposing further penalties

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has announced that the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has issued a decision upholding CFTC’s allegations that Jiongsheng Zhao, an Australian trader, was involved in manipulations of the futures market on the Chicago Commodity Exchange. According to the regulator and the court, the trader violated the Act on Commodity Exchanges and CFTC regulations.

According to the court’s decision, Zhao was banned from trading in commodity market shares for five years and a fine of 21,000 USD in compensation. The regulator also requires Zhao to stop violating the stock market manipulation act. In a separate, parallel criminal case instituted by the Justice Department, Zhao pleaded guilty to one charge and was convicted in February by the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

SEC charges ex-dentist

In turn, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Edgar M. Radjabla of Boca Raton, Florida, and two entities controlled by him for participating in three separate securities frauds.

The SEC accuses Radjabli, a previously practicing dentist, and Apis Capital Management LLC, an unregistered investment advisory firm owned and controlled by Radjabli, of carrying out a fake offer of Apis tokens representing shares in the leading investment fund Apis Capital. Radjabli and Apis Capital in June 2018 stated that the Apis token offering had raised $1.7 million when they had not actually raised any money.

The regulator also alleges that Radjabli and Apis Capital manipulated the stock market of Veritone Inc, a publicly traded artificial intelligence company. In December 2018, they announced a call to buy Veritone shares worth $200 million, but they did not have any financing to complete the transaction. According to the SEC, Radjabli was expected to generate $162,800 in profits from the stock appreciation triggered by its announcement.

According to the SEC lawsuit, Radjabli raised nearly $20 million from more than 450 investors in an unregistered and fraudulent share offer by My Loan Doctor LLC. Radjabli falsely claimed that the investors’ funds raised by the Loan Doctor would be used to provide loans to healthcare professionals, which would then be securitized and sold to large institutional investors. Instead, Radjabli invested most of the investors ‘funds in unsecured loans to lending companies with digital assets and loaned nearly $1.8 million of investors’ funds to Apis Capital.

Author: Izabela Kamionka

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