Dodd-Frank helps CFTC bring record number of charges in fiscal year 2012

From Ponzi schemes to price manipulation of metals, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said Friday it set a record filing 102 enforcement actions for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2012.

“We have begun to use our new Dodd-Frank authority, and, a swe look forward, we will continue to do so as more new rules become effective,” said David Meister, of the CFTC’s enforcement division, in a press release. “I applaud the staff for their hard work and dedications to the task, and am honored to work alongside them.”

Dodd-Frank, the legislation passed in the wake of the financial collapse of 2008, called for more regulatory oversight of markets and provided the CFTC with powers more on par with the SEC. While controversial when it passed, it has become a political issue again in the Presidential campaign, following former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney’s pledge to repeal and replace Dodd-Frank during the first presidential debate.

President Barack Obama defended the law during the same debate.

In the meantime the CFTC said it brought forward 102 cases during the last fiscal year, which included charges against Barclays PLC and two affiliates for attempted manipulation and false reporting concerning LIBOR and other benchmark interest rates. This was settled with Barclays agreeing to pay $200 million.

The commission also filed charges against a slew of companies for the manipulation of the following contracts: oil and energy futures, palladium and platinum, stock futures.

Action was taken against several alleged Ponzi schemes and for misappropriation of client funds during the year.

One of the 102 cases touched this region, when the CFTC filed a civil case against iFinix Futures Inc, based in Plainview, N.Y. and run by Benhope Marlon Munroe of New Milford for allegedly failing to meet minimum financial requirements and also making false statements in order to conceal that fact.

Rob Varnon