Operators of Phony Day-Trading Firm Defrauded Investors, SEC Says

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By Jeff Bater

Two men were sued Dec. 21 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in what the Securities and Exchange Commission says was a $1.4 million fraud that targeted inexperienced investors ( SEC v. Chamroonrat, D.N.J., No. 2:16-cv-09403, 12/21/16 ).

Naris Chamroonrat, of Bangkok, Thailand, and Adam L. Plumer, of Las Vegas, allegedly defrauded hundreds of investors worldwide between 2013 and 2015. The two men allegedly operated a fake day-trading firm, providing investors with phony trading accounts and absconding with funds they deposited.

“As alleged in our complaint, Chamroonrat defrauded investors in more than 30 countries by using a trading simulator to deceive them into believing they were involved in legitimate securities trading rather than victims of a $1.4 million fraud,’' Joseph G. Sansone, co-chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Market Abuse Unit, said in a news release.

Chamroonrat also is facing related criminal charges.

No lawyer for Chamroonrat could be identified for comment. Plumer’s lawyer had no comment.

Low Commissions

The agency said Chamroonrat and Plumer lured investors to day-trade through the firm, known as Nonko Trading, with promises of generous leverage and low trading commissions.

“To attract day-traders, Chamroonrat, through Nonko, offered terms that were not available at any SEC-registered broker-dealer in the United States, including a minimum deposit of only $2,500 (and occasionally lower), as well as leverage (or margin) of 20:1 (that is, purporting to give traders the ability to trade $20 of total capital for each dollar deposited),” the SEC complaint said. “Such low account balances and high leverage ratios are prohibited for many day traders in the United States under FINRA’s rules applicable to certain day-trading accounts.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Bater in Washington at jbater@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Ferullo at MFerullo@bna.com

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