On September 19, 2019, Sure Trader was temporarily suspended by the Bahamas Securities Commission. The official announcement from the Bahamian regulators was flat-out terrifying for anyone that has an account with Sure Trader.
In particular, the SCB or Securities Commission of the Bahamas ordered that Sure Trader was not to have ANY CONTACT with any of their customers for a period of 5-days. Additionally, the regulator specifically restrained the owner of the company, Guy Gentile from touching any customer assets in any capacity. The only thing they forget to include was a ‘wanted dead or alive’ poster with Guy Gentile’s face plastered on the front.
Throughout the ensuing 5 days, the customers of Sure Trader were met with the “blue screen of death” when they attempted to access their Sure Trader investment accounts. The customer service of Sure Trader was not responding. Finally, Sure Trader issued a very cryptic message that “due to technical difficulties” and “we are solvent” and some other bullshit from “mangement.” They even misspelled management incorrectly as “mangement.”
The information that came out of Sure Trader was akin to a North Korean propaganda film. Anyone that followed the events over the weekend was either laughing or crying. Plenty of people were dancing on Guy Gentile’s grave, while plenty of others were weeping for fear of losing their investments.
At TradingSchools.Org, our email inbox blew up with inquiries. I didn’t know what to write. How do you write a fairytale that somehow soothes the wounds of thousands of terrified investors — who believed that they just lost their life savings?
Well, I have some OK news to report, it appears that Sure Trader is back online, for now. The Bahamians lifted the 5-day ban and you can now commence with getting your money the fuck out of there! Apparently, Guy Gentile got a Bahamian judge to issue a “stay” on the 5-day ban.
Of course, Guy Gentile is going to do everything in his power to convince you not to leave. The company announced that “for a while” all trading commissions will be waived.
None of this passes the “sniff” test.
Sure Trader: The twirling jacuzzi of legal problems
Part of me sort of feels sympathetic towards Guy Gentile. He has done a great job of convincing the trading community that he was “framed” by the FBI, the United States Attorney, and Securities and Exchange Commission.
But the plain truth is that he is a very ordinary scum bag that essentially got away with financial murder. (Yes, I am a little bit jealous) If you are new here, then you should know that Guy Gentile was indicted for Securities Fraud back in 2016. Long story short, Guy Gentile allegedly orchestrated a “pump and dump” stock manipulation scheme that netted him millions of dollars in illegal profits. Lots of “mom and pop” investors lost everything.
Only later, did we learn that Guy was actually playing both sides of the fence. While being threatened with prison for the pump and dump scheme, he was “snitching” on anyone and everyone. The FBI was milking him like a cow as an informant. Plenty of people went to prison…but not him.
The best part is that he got to keep all of the money that he scammed in the pump and dump. Talk about lucky.
Anyway, it looked like it was ‘blue skies’ for Guy Gentile and he could put his past troubles behind him. He could get on with running his stupid little Bahamian “pump and dump” brokerage and lay on the beach and drink cocktails.
But not this dude. Trouble seems to follow him like flies to an open sewer. A short time later, while dating a Russian mail order girlfriend (half his age), he gets into a fight on her birthday and she steals his car. The car later turns up — at the bottom of his swimming pool. No kidding. I even wrote a story about it.
About the same time, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission decided that his asshole needed another fucking. The SEC sued him for securities violations tied to his continued solicitation of customers within the United States.
Currently, the SEC case is weaving its way through the appellate court in Southern Florida. In a nutshell, the SEC is very close to obtaining a master list of all of the Sure Trader customers located in the United States. Once this happens, then the shit is really going to hit the fan. And everyone knows it.
It appears that the delay in proceedings is caused by Sure Trader’s Attorney, Carla Marin (currently in hiding) is under investigation for tax evasion and is being sued by the United States Attorney in New York for allegedly failing to pay millions of dollars in taxes. The US Attorney is seeking to foreclose her house and snatch assets.
If this does not sound bad enough…it gets worse…on September 26, 2019, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission won a major victory against Guy Gentile in New Jersey. What does this SEC victory mean for Guy Gentile and Sure Trader? Essentially, the SEC is looking to permanently ban Guy Gentile — once and for all — with a permanent injunction. No more penny stocks scams for you, Mr Gentile.
The smell of death grows more pungent.
The SEC has a bullseye on Guy Gentile. They are closing in. And its causing problems.
The writing is pretty much on the wall. The SEC is not going away. And they are doing anything and everything to end Guy Gentile’s involvement in the securities industry.
For instance, on February 7, 2019, because of the SEC actions, the Bank Of Montreal likely decided that Sure Trader was “too hot to handle” and decided to end all banking relationships. In a letter sent to Guy Gentile, (according to the Bank of Montreal stated “It has been determined that your personal and/or business activities fall outside of our risk appetite, and therefore we do not have an appropriate basis to maintain a banking relationship. As a result, we ask that you close your accounts by March 7, 2019. After that time we will cease to operate these accounts.”
It’s pretty difficult to run a stock brokerage if you cannot have a checking account. So what does Guy Gentile do next? Just start a bank! Yep, as crazy as this sounds, this is exactly what he attempted to do — in Puerto Rico. However, part of the application for forming a bank in Puerto Rico requires that you pass a background check, pay a $5k application fee, and list all pending regulatory actions and lawsuits.
Apparently, Mr. Gentile (allegedly) fibbed on his banking application and got an “F” on the business integrity test. I am not kidding, the Puerto Rican banking authorities specifically implied that “he lacks business integrity.”
Additionally, the Puerto Rican banking authorities presented evidence that Guy Gentile compares himself to the character Jordan Belfort in the movie, “The Wolf of Wall Street” and made statements that included “Fuck the Department of Justice.”
So what does Guy Gentile do next? File a lawsuit against Puerto Rico! The case is currently weaving its way through the sewers of the Puerto Rican court system.
As crazy as this all reads…I am just getting started.
The Sure Trader Insurance Company
In order to maintain a brokerage license in the Bahamas, you must have an insurance policy that protects investors from fraud and related securities matters.
As you can probably imagine, with this constant shit storm of legal problems floating directly above…would you want to give Guy Gentile an insurance policy for his Bahamian brokerage? Apparently, getting insurance was nearly impossible, so what does Guy Gentile do next? Yep, you guessed it…just start an insurance company and insure yourself!
Just think about this a moment…what if Sure Trader suddenly shuts down and you want your money back? You contact Bob Marley at the Bahamian Securities Authority and he recommends that you contact Sure Trader Insurance company? WTF.
The hell with buying automobile insurance, I am just starting an insurance company and insuring myself. Going to print a fancy certificate and take it to the DMV. That should work, right? Not in the United States. Apparently, in the Bahamas, this is perfectly acceptable behavior. It’s just nutty as hell.
In the Bahamas, corruption and bribery are the ‘soup du jour.’ In fact, Transparency International recently issued a global report that rates and ranks the most corrupt countries in the world. The Bahamas ranks as #1 of all Latin America and the Carribean for corruption and bribery.
Additionally, the report detailed that the number one form of corruption in the Bahamas is cash payments to public officials. The number two form of corruption in the Bahamas is “sexual favors.”
Sure Trader Customers: Please Open Your Eyes
Lately, the internet and social media have been chasing their tails trying to figure out “why was Sure Trader suspended?” It seems that everyone has a lame, pathetic or naive explanation. One well-known trading educator said, “They probably just forgot to file some paperwork.” Yet another proclaimed, “Everything is going to be fine, I will reserve judgment until after a jury trial.” And finally, another red-haired male bimbo investment educator hollered “we have not recommended Sure Trader in a couple of years.”
Dear red-haired male bimbo investment educator, didn’t Sure Trader proclaim that 98% of your students were unprofitable?
What a bunch of pathetic idiots. And you know who you are. Please grab a crowbar and peel open your eyes…when one of the most corrupt countries in the world declares that a local stock brokerage cannot “touch the assets of customers” then you have a major fucking problem.
What is Sure Trader doing with customer deposits?
When your money is deposited at Sure Trader, what is Sure Trader doing with your money? This is yet another important question. In the United States, customer funds are required to be held in segregated customer accounts. And these customer funds are protected for any sort of “outside” funny business, like investing in a sushi restaurant.
In the Bahamas, who in the hell knows what investor protections are enforced — if any. However, we do know that Sure Trader has already gotten into trouble with the perpetually corrupt Bahamians as recently as 2017 where Sure Trader paid a $120k fine for “regulatory breaches in customer due diligence and poor record-keeping.” You can’t make this shit up.
In all seriousness, what is Sure Trader doing with your money? Considering the Guy Gentile has already pulled off two separate alleged “pump and dumps,” is it conceivable that he would attempt yet another “pump and dump” scheme?
The answer appears to be YES. Please put on your seatbelt.
Guy Gentile sued yet again, for TWO recent alleged “pump and dump” scams
On the morning of July 23, 2018 a tiny company named Avalon Holdings, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange was doing what it usually does…languishing in penny stock purgatory at a price of $2.20 per share. All of a sudden, and over the course of 7-days, the price exploded to $36 per share.
On July 30, 2018, Guy Gentile reveals that he was supposedly orchestrating a hostile takeover and accumulated 60% of the outstanding shares of the stock. On the very same day, the stock crashes wildly back to earth. The transaction allegedly netted Guy Gentile $7 million in profits.
Shortly thereafter, Guy Gentile gives an interview with Bloomberg and declares “This is no pump and dump scheme!”
On the morning of June 27, 2018, yet another tiny penny stock company named New Concept Energy, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange was doing what it usually does…languishing in penny stock purgatory at a price of $1.37 per share. All of a sudden, and over the course of 5-days, the price exploded to $12.75 per share.
Yet again, Guy Gentile quickly dumps his shares for a $6 million profit. The price of the stock crashes back into penny stock purgatory — $1.50 per share.
Is this even legal? According to lawsuits filed by Avalon Holdings and New Concept Energy…this is not legal. Both companies claim that Guy Gentile violated Section 13 (d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. I don’t want to drag you too deep into the weeds, but this sort of “pump and dump” has very serious legal consequences, including the disgorgement of all gains.
Of course, Guy Gentile (in court documents) denied everything and stuck to his defense that “This was a hostile takeover” and some over bullshit about “high-frequency trading.” The lawyers suing Guy Gentile called him “a connoisseur of scams” and “this is the latest pump and dump scheme.”
Finally, on September 24, 2019, US District Judge Vernon Broderick ruled against Guy Gentile and declared that “this appears to be a clear violation of the Securities Exchange Act” and the plaintiffs’ lawsuit may proceed to trial. You can read the ruling here.
Considering that plaintiffs are looking for $13 million, you have to wonder if Sure Trader and Sure Trader Insurance company can survive this.
Wrapping things up
I have written a few articles about Guy Gentile and Sure Trader. This article was the longest and most difficult to write. There were so many moving parts.
However, when Sure Trader got suspended by the Bahamian Regulators, and the trading community starting hypothecating and whipping out ridiculously shallow explanations — I knew that I had to expose the “full Monte” on what is actually happening at Sure Trader.
I would advise readers to look at everything presented with a wide lens. And from the perspective of how the SEC is currently pursuing Sure Trader and Guy Gentile. In particular, the two most recent alleged pump and dumps regarding New Concept Energy and Avalon Holding, surely this has greatly angered the SEC once again. Let me be very clear, I am not accusing anyone of committing a crime. But if you are currently a Sure Trader customer, or thinking of becoming a Sure Trader customer, then you need to be aware of everything that is happening behind the scenes.
And none of it looks good.
A big thanks to Neil Hartnell of The Tribune in the Bahamas for supplying me with documents and information for this story. Neil has written quite a few articles about Guy Gentile, many of these articles served as sources for this article. Neil deserves credit for the hard work.
Attorney Miriam Tauber