On February 12, 2020, the United States Federal Trade Commission filed a massive 8000+ page lawsuit against the Online Trading Academy. The complaint alleged that thousands of consumers spent a minimum of $370 million dollars and were systematically ripped off with phony performance claims.
On February 25, 2020, the FTC successfully obtained a temporary restraining order against all corporate assets, as well as the personal assets of company founders: Eyal Shachar and Sam Seiden.
On April 7, 2020, TradingSchools.Org published an article titled: Online Trading Academy. Yes, its a FRAUD.
In that article, we interviewed former customers and alleged former employees of the company. Combined with the allegations from the FTC, our article detailed how the fraud was executed.
Since the publishing of our previous article, things have only gotten worse for the Online Trading Academy.
Today’s update will bring former students and prospective customers of Online Trading Academy up to date with the most recent and relevant information.
The founder of Online Trading Academy has already admitted to the fraud.
First things first, the founder of Online Trading Academy, Mr. Sam Seiden has already publicly and privately stated that “Online Trading Academy is a fraudulent business.”
This is undisputed.
However, the co-founder of the business, Eyal Shachar is “very proud of his business” and vows to fight to keep the allegedly fraudulent business operational.
Apparently, Mr. Shachar believes that consumers are extraordinarily stupid and would prefer to believe him over the very person that created the curriculum for Online Trading Academy: Mr. Sam Seiden.
Additionally, it is also undisputed that Mr. Seiden has already had his investment accounts audited by the Federal Trade Commission and Mr. Sam Seiden is a net losing trader.
Even the Investment Counselors that taught the courses at Online Trading Academy were also proven to be net losing traders.
And finally, the students themselves, that had opened hundreds of investment accounts at Trade Station Securities — were also overwhelmingly net losing traders.
Based upon all of the allegations and the extensive FTC investigation, its fair to say that Online Trading Academy is a fraudulent business.
But still, Mr. Eyal Shechar persists and claims that “Online Trading Academy is currently negotiating a settlement with the FTC, and WE ARE BACK IN BUSINESS.”
The question is how does Mr. Shachar, and the owners of the Online Trading Academy franchises expect to “cure” a business where the core proposition of “getting rich trading” has already been shown to be a fraud?
Its appears that Mr. Shachar has taken the same path of Trump University.
The Trump University playbook
From 2005 – 2010, President Trump operated a fraudulent business named Trump University. Supposedly, Mr. Trump wanted to “teach you how to get rich with real estate.”
Thousands of consumers spent hundreds of millions of dollars to learn “Trumps Secrets.” Except there were no secrets, no private funding, the supposed millionaire students were paid actors, and the instructors had no experience in real estate.
The whole thing was a massive fraud. Many large states, including Texas, New York, and California eventually sued Mr. Trump for fraud. Eventually, the operation was shut down and Mr. Trump agreed to a small fine.
However, President Trump was sued in a nationwide class-action lawsuit and eventually settled for $25 million. However, Mr. Trump never paid the $25 million, instead, the $25 million was paid by a political contributor named Phil Ruffin in 2019.
But what is not well known about Trump University is the strategies and tactics that Trump used to discredit the regulators and terrorize his former students into not speaking publicly about the fraud.
It appears that Online Trading Academy is attempting the same tactics employed by Trump University.
Lawsuits against the students
Trump University was notorious for filing defamation lawsuits against the very students in which they scammed. Online Trading Academy is no different. In fact, court records show defamation lawsuits and numerous legal threats against former students.
Trump University included language in their sales contract that forbade former students from writing online reviews that Mr. Trump found distasteful or disparaging. Online Trading Academy also included “gag” clauses in their contracts that forbade students from writing disparaging online reviews about Online Trading Academy.
Trump University attempted to include provisions in their contract that would not allow a student to sue in state or federal court, nor file a class action lawsuit where the students could band together and fight together. Online Trading Academy also included a provision where students could not sue in state and federal court, or file a class action, but instead were forced into private arbitration hearings.
Arbitration hearings are notoriously sneaky because there is no public record of the allegations. In effect, it keeps the fraud “under wraps” and hidden from public view or commentary.
Trump University sent out “student satisfaction questionnaires” where students were encouraged to express their pleasure and enjoyment at using Trump University products and services. These “student satisfaction questionnaires” were later used by Trump to deny refunds to students that had expressed satisfaction with Trump University.
Online Trading Academy has also employed this same strategy. In fact, they attempted to sue the Federal Trade Commission by submitting the results of their internal surveys to “show its not a fraud” from 9,000 former students.
These survey results from Online Trading Academy will, in all likelihood, be used against those former students to deny future refund requests.
Additionally, Trump University employed former industry regulators and attorneys to publicly discredit the allegations of fraud. Online Trading Academy has also employed this same strategy.
For instance, on May 21, 2020, the Online Trading Academy employed (in)famous lawyer Alan Dershowitz by declaring that the Federal Trade Commission is the one committing fraud and he further describes Online Trading Academy as “totally legitimate.” Have a look for yourself…
We all know Alan Dershowitz — the same guy that defended Jeffrey Epstein and allegedly slept with Epstein’s underage victims. Yes, that Jeffrey Epstein.
The same Alan Dershowitz that was recently chased off a nude beach for flirting with teenage girls — according to locals.
The same Alan Dershowitz that claims he is a 1st amendment lawyer that has filed no less than three defamation lawsuits in the past several months. One lawsuit complains mightily that a fictional character (not even a real person) called him a “shyster.”
Another lawsuit against a teenage girl he got a massage from, and later poked. Dershowitz claims it was an “old Russian lady” but the girl claims “I was only 15 years old.” Yet another lawsuit against Netflix over his depiction in the “Filthy Rich” documentary, and another lawsuit against a lawyer he claims “said mean words.”
Frankly, its really sad, funny, and not very surprising that he is now claiming that Online Trading Academy is a “legitimate business.”
Alan Derchowitz, the great defender of Trump and his phony University is now defending Online Trading Academy and their phony Academy.
But many consumers are not taking this lying down.
Class action lawsuits against Online Trading Academy
On April 20, 2020, the first of several class action lawsuits was filed against Online Trading Academy in Federal Court. Read below:Online-Trading-Academy-Any-Jine-Lawsuit
On June 11, 2020 the second class-action lawsuit was filed against the Online Trading Academy in Central District of California. The allegations of fraud are stunning. Read complaint below:OTA-Fernando-Avila
On June 29, 2020, the third class-action lawsuit was filed against the Online Trading Academy in California Federal Court. Once again, the allegations are painful to read.Online-Trading-Academy-California-Lawsuit
Are there additional lawsuits coming for the owners of Online Trading Academy? I don’t know. But one thing I do know — every single week someone is contacting TradingSchools.Org wondering what they should do, or whom they should contact for relief.
My recommendation would be contact either of the attorney’s listed in the above complaints.
Additionally, I would also recommend that victims of Online Trading Academy also file complaints with their State Attorney General in hopes of obtaining relief.
Some students have had good luck. For instance, various Online Trading Academy students in the state of Massachusetts were able to secure $160k in refunds by pressuring Attorney General Maura Healey to investigate.
Other students have also had good luck convincing the authorities to investigate this “phony school.” A perfect example is where a group of California residents convinced the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education to fine Online Trading Academy for $75k.
In spite of all of this, as recently as May 24, 2020, the Online Trading Academy vows that “we are back” and “ready to teach you how to get rich.”
Former Online Trading Academy instructors sued for FRAUD
As crazy as all this reads, it gets even worse.
For example, the owner of an Online Trading Academy franchise in Texas was recently sued by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission for selling phony promissory notes to students that supposedly guaranteed 18% annual interest.
Except he forget to actually pay the interest. Nor the principle.
Additionally, yet another Online Trading Academy “Investment Educator” named Buddy Ringgold, located in San Diego, Ca, was sued for a former student for fleecing him of his life savings of $820,000.
Shall I continue? I can. But you get the point.
Wrapping things up
I sincerely hope this is my final article regarding Online Trading Academy.
But I suspect, this will not be the last time. The current ownership has vowed to keep the business open. They are steadfast in their resolve that “Online Trading Academy is totally legit.”
Additionally, I suspect, that based upon their previous threats they will sue me over my articles. But I will keep on writing, and exposing these frauds, regardless of the consequences.
Thanks for reading.