The CFTC, or Commodities Futures Trading Commission has charged the owner of Earn2Trade, Ryan Masten with fraud.
In the verified complaint, filed in the Western District of Texas on September 2, is alleging that Masten was partnered with various Israeli citizens and orchestrated a global investment fraud of approximately $233 million dollars.
The complaint alleges that the total damages for investors within the United States is approximately $165 million dollars.
How did the scam work?
According to the CFTC, Ryan Masten was the lead developer for a binary options trading platform that was systematically “rigged” where investors were nearly guaranteed to lose their entire investments.
In particular, the CFTC is alleging that investors essentially believed that they were trading in live, regulated exchanges, with actual counterparties to their trades. Except, there were no legitimate actual counterparties.
The actual counterparties to the trades were actually the owners of the trading platform, who intentionally rigged the game.
The CFTC is alleging that the bid/ask spreads were illegally widened to the investors’ detriment, that profitable trades (which would have cost the company money) were illegally deleted, and that investors were driven into guaranteed losing trades through an elaborate “auto-trading” scheme.
According to the CFTC, Ryan Masten owned approximately 30% of the company, and he received $1,448,209 — at a minimum — in compensation.
The auto trader scheme
The “auto trading” scheme was elaborate, deceitful, and designed to inflict as much financial damage as possible upon its victims.
As the CFTC complaint stated, “Since at least 2012, Ryan Masten, along with his wife, created a website titled: SignalPush.com.
The purpose of SignalPush.com was to convince investors within the United States and elsewhere that they were receiving “top notch trading signals” from “vetted and experienced money managers or financial professionals.”
The CFTC states that there were no “vetted and experienced money managers or financial professionals” involved in any of the “trading signals” offered by Ryan Masten through the SignalPush.com platform.
Instead, the trading signals were specifically devised to quickly and remorselessly churn the trading account with losing trades — thereby draining the account to zero.
Once the account was drained to zero, a “boiler room” operation located in Tel Aviv, Israel would then begin calling and offering “free trades” and “sign up bonuses” to further lure yet more deposits.
The boiler room is described as a sort of “financial slaughterhouse” where telephone sales people would ruthlessly press financially desperate consumers into “taking one more chance” at financial freedom.
The goal was to drain the credit card to zero available credit. The callousness was stunning.
How the money was spent
As you can imagine, the money was wasted as fast as they allegedly stole it.
Although there is a virtual cornucopia on how defendants wantonly wasted the money, it can best be depicted by the social media postings of Joshua Cartu — an alleged partner of Ryan Masten. Below are a few examples of the “unlimited shrimp cocktail.”
Prison for binary options scammers
TradingSchools.Org has written numerous articles about various characters in the binary options industry. In fact, we have filed numerous whistleblower actions against no less than 24 companies located within the United States.
One of our most recent CFTC complaints was filed (November 2019) against F1 Trade, the alleged broker affiliated with known serial fraudster Guy Gentile of Sure Trader. You can read about that here.
Although it took a few months, F1 Trade was added to the CFTC “Red List” warning US consumers on July 16, 2020.
Additionally, TradingSchools.Org was involved with litigation against another well know fraudster named Lee Elbaz. Many people may remember that she sued me for defamation and failed.
A short time after her failure, she was arrested for securities fraud for remarkably similar to allegations contained within this very article.
Lee Elbaz was sentenced to 22 years in Federal Prison on December 19, 2019.
All of this leads to the question — are the perpetrates of this most recent binary options fraud looking at criminal prosecution? More specifically, is Ryan Masten looking at being charged by the US Attorney?
Truthfully, I don’t know. However, I would find it incredible that there is not already a “sealed indictment” already filed. What is a sealed indictment? Essentially, the US Attorney has a limited time frame in which to prosecute a felony. For this sort of fraud, which would be defined under the Dodd Frank Reform Act, the statute of limitations would be 5-years. Sometimes the US Attorney needs to keep the indictment sealed so that they can locate the physical location of the defendents.
If a defendant suspects they have a pending criminal charge, because they are the subject of a CFTC fraud investigation, then they are likely to hide in a country with no extradition treaty with the United States.
In fact, Ryan Masten’s co-defendants are currently in hiding, according to various media sources. The authorities believe that most are hiding in Israel or eastern Europe using alias names.
However, Ryan Masten is a United States citizen. TradingSchools.Org reached out to Ryan Masten with questions regarding the case. He mentioned that he has only been contacted by the CFTC, but has had no contact with the FBI.
Additionally, Mr. Masten categorically denies all of the allegations contained within the complaint. Additionally, he mentioned that the CFTC is attempting to portray him, and his involvement in the worst possible light.
He describes his involvement as minimal. Yet, it was apparent that he is definitely stressed and losing sleep over this.
Although I would like to believe Mr. Masten that “he had minimal involvement,” with his alleged conspirators — it is important to note that Mr. Masten allegedly used the fake name of “Jax Navarro” in an attempt to cover his true identity, according to the CFTC.
What will happen to Earn2Trade?
As many people are aware, Earn2Trade is a business started by Ryan Masten sometime in 2017, which is after his involvement with the binary options industry.
Earn2Trade has a very good reputation within the “funded trader” community. If you are not aware, the “funded trader” business model allows consumers to trade on a simulator and pay a monthly fee of several hundred dollars in hopes of one day “earning a funded trading account.”
Personally, I consider these “funded trader” programs as gimmicky and mainly tailored towards “day dreamers” looking to get rich through day trading.
Unfortunately, most end up in debt with thousands of dollars in credit card bills because day trading is pretty much a game for suckers. Read my article that talks about the abysmal failure rate of day traders.
Regardless of my opinion of day traders and the “funded trader” industry…it is important to note that Ryan Masten has a very good reputation this industry. TradingSchools.Org has received no complaints regarding Earn2Trade.
However, a more important and pressing question pertaining to Earn2Trade needs to be answered. Presumably, there are hundreds of consumers currently participating in these simulated trading “gauntlets” with Earn2Trade, and I would also presume that their are additional parties trading with live accounts under the Earn2Trade banner. What is going to happen to these people if the US Attorney were to indict Mr. Masten and he were arrested?
Additionally, what if the CFTC were to seek a temporary injunction against Mr. Masten, which barred him from any involvement with the Futures trading industry? This could potentially “pull the plug” on anyone currently trading through Earn2Trade.
My hope is that Ryan Masten addresses these issues to the public at large. And also create a contingency plan where if he were to have to suddenly leave the organization, that effective and honest leadership could assume control.
Wrapping things up
It is important to note that although the CFTC complaint is extremely damaging, and it appears that a criminal investigation would be warranted — that all of these are currently just allegations.
Additionally, Mr. Masten has categorically denied the CFTC’s description and alleged level of involvement. In the United States, there is still the presumption of innocence. And sometimes complaints are drafted in such a salacious form and fashion that they bear little resemblance to the truth.
Thanks for reading. And I would love to read your opinion and comments below.
It has been a year and half since the CFTC allegations against the former fractional shareholder of Earn2Trade, Ryan Masten. At the time of the allegations, he was not a shareholder, employee of the company, and up to the point before he sold his shares he was only a small fractional shareholder. The activity he is accused of engaging in had no connection whatsoever to Earn2Trade.
This article says that Ryan Masten was the owner during the allegations, but it is not true. He was not an owner, and up until his shares were sold, he was only a fractional shareholder. We have asked in the past that the article was edited to reflect that reality. This article, in its call to action and title mentions our company name twice and brandishes our logo, implying that our company is
tied up with the allegations, but that is not fair to our company. Our company is being painted as if it participated in an alleged act of which there is no connection.
We are leaving another comment on this article, because up until today we still have individuals who come to our company seeking clarifications about this article, and believing that Ryan Masten is a shareholder of our company. We would appreciate very much if you would make that clarification, as the title of your article, the image of it and the subsequent subtitle make it seem as if these are allegations against our company, of which they most certainly are not. We refer to the statement we made addressing the allegations on September 2nd, 2020 on this site, on other forums, and in email to our customers.
Earn2Trade prides itself on providing an objective examination and an equal opportunity for retail traders around the world to test themselves and become professional futures traders. We stand by the outstanding work our company does every day, and we remain committed to providing a fair environment for retail traders to
test themselves and enter the world of trading.
For those who have any questions, doubts or concerns about the allegations, please feel free to contact us on live chat on our website, or through our email address listed below: email@example.com, and we’ll be very happy to address them.
I was going to try Earn2Trade so I contacted Earn2Trade about how funded traders get paid. They said Earn2Trade is “educational” institution only and when traders get funded, they get offer letter from either Helios or Appius. And for Helios, you are paid with K-1 as a limited partner. I thought that sounded good for tax benefit but… then I when I looked up Ryan Masten, he is listed as owner of Helios. I hate to say it but something does not smell right….
Generally speaking, these “funded trader” schemes are a really bad for traders. For instance, they are all geared towards day trading futures or Forex, however numerous studies show that +90% of people that day trade will lose everything. I wrote an article about it…
Day Trading: It’s for Suckers.
We are not sure where you received the information, but we can guarantee you that Ryan Masten is most assuredly not the owner of Helios Trading Partners. Ryan Masten sold his shares in Helios and Earn2Trade over a year ago, and at the time he sold them he was a fractional shareholder of the companies. If you need any further clarification please contact our live support chat for assistance.
The beginning of the article states that:
“The CFTC, or Commodities Futures Trading Commission has charged the owner of Earn2Trade, Ryan Masten with fraud.”
We don’t dispute that Ryan Masten was charged with fraud, but he was not an owner or shareholder of Earn2Trade at the time he was charged, and he was not charged with anything in connection with our company. The charges relate to Ryan’s activities before his involvement with Earn2Trade and nowhere in the charges is Earn2Trade even mentioned. Ryan was a minority shareholder of the company at its founding and became a fractional shareholder not long after.
Our company continues to grow while maintaining a high standard of professionalism and customer support towards our traders. If you have any questions or concerns, we are always happy to address them on our live chat support, or through our email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I totally agree.
I don’t necessarily agree with the business model. But hey, it’s a service, and these types of services are not going anywhere.
Further, when compared to all of your competitors, Earn2Trade is obviously the fairest.
With that being said, what in the hell happened with Ryan’s case? I know he was nervous as heck when the CFTC showed up.
We understand your feeling towards the business model, and appreciate that you provide such a nuanced and balanced opinion about it. We admire the work you do and your continued exposure of bad actors in the industry. We’d also like to thank you for your vote of confidence regarding the fairness of our company.
On that note, we’d appreciate it very much if you would be so kind to add the word “former” before owner in the article so it accurately represents our situation at the time of the charges and today. Your site is a valued source of impartial information regarding the industry and people around the world value you for the insight you provide.
We are happy to answer any questions about this and realize it’s something we must address, but we must insist after all that Ryan wasn’t the owner of Earn2Trade when he was charged and our company was not implicated in any way.
Regarding your last question, unfortunately we don’t have any information about Ryan’s case apart from what is publicly available. We were stunned by the charges and wish the best for all parties involved.
Thank you again and we very much appreciate your consideration Emmett!
Yes looking at the comments here, just adding a little. Emmett is on the right track,
we have to expose wrong doing in this industry… its hard enough as it is and its not fair that some people use their amazing programming skills to defraud buy side investors when they could just as well be paid to do the opposite
Ryan’s prop firm handling all the funded traders from Earn2Trade is settling their live accounts as of 9/30 COB and moving them to another prop trading firm date of which is uncertain and not announced. So they offered the daydreamers among them a LiveSim where professional data fees and exchange NFA, regulatory etc fees are deducted from account balance, and traders are promised profitshare. I hope this is legal.
Emmett, FYI day traders do consistently earn, and funded traders do trade live on FCM accounts as I can tell you from my experience. Such funded traders don’t donate more than $400 to companies like Earn2Trade to pass and get funded. Of course the other 96% or 99% pay lots more and keep daydreaming about winning a funded account. But thats how the markets have survived so long and will continue to.
ok, wait, this isn’t accurate. .. Earn2Trade deals in futures, not binary options; and there are no legit counterparties ..already options are OTC; then, lol binary ..
Nadex is the only regulated venue.
Here’s the thing, if you wanna trade binary just do European-style options. Same thing (exercise only at exp) and there at least it’s bueno ..or the above ..
sounds like cfd’s ..also, here’s the thing w/ Tradenet. Super sketchy, but i was told if can trade WILL get paid ..
..I don’t care abt Masten only Earn2Trade, not like govt is perfect either (Larry Williams has issues w/ the NFA .. obviously oversight is good, but ..), who wouldn’t lose sleep
.. Day dreaming 😉 is good; are you, really, that, or visualizing .. you can make it if work hard, lot of pain, tears and overnight is possible 🙂 ..just sometimes that o/n takes a decade :D; lol ..but so ’tis possible ..
The percent of succesful traders 2day is no greater today than it was in the past, in fact, it’s prolly lower (Tom Alexander) also, just think how ppl traded then you had daily bars to track; and placed an order unless you were on the floor and, the pctage of floor traders in fact, those having become HFTs if firms like Knight Capital lose millions (100, actually) in a minute? ..yeah.
.. going from terraforming the landscape to m(icro)w(ave)s if even that’s old now ..next is quantum you’re coming right up my alley ..welcome 🙂
E2T is just a portal, like TopStep .. is for Patak Partners I believe, I think, like Traderdock was for Positive Equity, Helios is insulated ..
statement from E2T https://www.facebook.com/earn2trade/posts/2773495269641559
You can have unlimited shrimp cocktail ..I will teach you how ..buy shrimps (under a buck, say; frozen) next purchase Thousands Islands sauce ..And , shit 😀 it’s good, man ..
salacious, well ,heck, just look at the media, man;
Freedom of the press is precious you can’t use it for libel
Echo chamber but we’re not talking abt the polls now; they just went ape with Trump being elected.
..for a v good reason; he threatens their agenda ..
Like who was that new NYTimes editor whose tweets became public, then they hired/kept her on anyway ..
Investigative journalism rocks ..This whole thing began with Kelly absolutely was out of line ..Rosie I rest my case.. then, what Trump said was illegals crossing over and there being criminals and rapists too ..when you go from that to ‘the Mexican thing’ you know you got spin ..
Or the call w/ the Mexican Pres.; yeah, what the media left out was what came next; he thanked Trump ..
Take w/ever the flavor of the day is, parlay/contrast that with the original recording, Trump soundbyte..you will nvr question media bias again.
There’s no muslim ban https://web.archive.org/web/20170627190810/https://www.conservativetribune.com/8-facts-trumps-immigration-ban/
Trump’s inauguration crowd the biggest..yeah, ‘cos it was
https://web.archive.org/web/20180928131626/https://www.westernjournal.com/ct/real-photos-trumps-vs-obamas/ I saw this w/ my own eyes ..
alt media is great ..same shit w/ the injecting ..
oh, btw, having previously defended S. Townshend the chart reading webinar you may see advertised on youtube ..is good, no, it absolutely is true. He gives us two options, i chose to checkout early, so can vouch for it ..
Wow, that was quite a lot to digest in one sitting.
I was just about to join The Gauntlet, but have some doubts.
1) Apparently he is no longer involved with Earn2Trade company. Do you think it could further affect the company and their prop trading arm negatively? Could it be also taken into scrutiny by regulators? Can it be shut down because of the connection?
2) [quote] Earn2Trade has a very good reputation within the “funded trader” community. If you are not aware, the “funded trader” business model allows consumers to trade on a simulator and pay a monthly fee of several hundred dollars in hopes of one day “earning a funded trading account.”
Regardless of my opinion of day traders and the “funded trader” industry…it is important to note that Ryan Masten has a very good reputation this industry. TradingSchools.Org has received no complaints regarding Earn2Trade. [/quote]
As a foreigner who wants to trade with US company, I am not an expert in legal issues and regulations. I just need remote access to capital. I’ve seen some talk on the internet that a prop firm need to be registered at NFA / be an exchange member or the traders need to pass some exams. Can I take the above as a confirmation that there are no regulatory issues with this type of funding companies? Is it legal? Let’s say I traded with the company and withdrew my profits but it turns out the company was not operating in line with regulations. Was I doing something illegal from my side without being aware?
Will the US regulators take action against this business model? I don’t think so. With that being said, the US-based companies are by far the most legitimate.
Regarding Earn2Trade, they are actually the only “funded trader” business that has taken the additional steps of registering several of their workers with the NFA. This is a big plus and it speaks to their commitment and credibility. Actually, I believe they are the most honest of any of the US-based companies.
Now with regards to Ryan Masten, in my opinion, he has obviously made some prior mistakes. He fucked up. He chased the fast dollar and his poor decision caught up to him. This activity was prior to Earn2Trade, so in all fairness, we should weigh this with the current activity.
And I will say that I have received NO COMPLAINTS against Earn2Trade. It appears to be a very clean operation.
Was my article harsh on Ryan Masten? Yep. But it needed to be. Its my job to fully expose the BS and absolutely tear apart anyone that screws up. Ryan fucked up, he got torn apart. But I wouldn’t let it completely affect your decision whether to do business with Earn2Trade, in fact, my article only put Earn2Trade on notice that they better not fuck up — else they get another article.
Thanks a lot – appreciate your response
Earn2Trade is better than for example OneUp Trader who violate their agreement on the 10th day of funded trading and then cajole you into initiating an arbitration in Timbaktu that starts at $20,000 in application fees. But what you will do after passing out of Earn2Trade is something even they can’t tell you when they have a prop firm in place, or whether that prop firm will trade FCM accounts.
Emmett: they are already f***ing it up by moving traders to a LiveSim where they deduct professional data fees from your account balance and exchange, NFA regulatory fees which will never reach those guys and they are promising to payout trader profits from their simulator through bank accounts. Is that legal?
That’s a great question.
Shall we wait for the answer?
I believe your question is the following:
1) If you are trading on LiveSim, then can they legally charge you NFA fees? (Whereas these fees are actually fees that cannot be applied because they are NOT actual trades, as per the definition) Correct?
2) Can they legally charge professional data fees? (Whereas these fees are actually paid directly to the exchange, and not Earn2Trade) Correct?
Assuming they are not “valid” or legal, is this predatory? And, is there any recourse?
Are we on the same page? If so, this would be something I would need to contact the NFA and the CME regarding both issues.
These are interesting legal questions. And how can you be defined as a “professional trader” when you are not actually trading, for purposes of the definition.
Absolutely Emmett. Plus how can anyone legally payout profits from a simulator through the bank? That should be a parallel market I guess, and parallel markets are not legal.
It’s a fair question, but the premise is incorrect. None of these fees are paid out of pocket by the traders. They are only deducted from the account balance in the LiveSim. The LiveSim is meant to simulate live trading as closely as possible, and the fees are part of that experience.
It’s important to note however that Helios absolutely must still pay professional data fees for the trader, and indeed does so. Those fees are paid directly by the prop firm on behalf of the trader. Those are professional data fees as defined by the CME, and that is not optional. Helios deducts the equivalent exchange fee amount from the account balances of the traders (along with other trading fees). If a trader wants to pay exchange fees directly out of pocket, they should just notify Helios and they would be welcome to do so. This will continue until the time that the new prop firm and brokerage relationship is finalized. Once this relationship is finalized, the traders will again be expected to pay the exchange fees out of pocket.
As to your other point, the company has received no legal reason why a prop firm may not pay people who trade on a simulated data feed. Traders are not investing in the prop firm, and during the course of the LiveSim pay no out of pocket fees whatsoever. Regardless, the goal is to get traders back into a live trading environment as quickly as possible and Earn2Trade is doing its utmost to that end.
If you have any questions we welcome you on our live chat. We are happy to respond to any queries.
Sure reads like an honest and thorough answer to me. Thanks for taking the time to clarify.
Sure. But the prop firm is also replacing the exchange and running a parallel exchange by settling trades with its traders for real money. Complete with deduction of exchange commissions per contract, NFA fees and the rest which are obviously not being donated to the exchange. The fine line disappears when real money is equated to trades on a simulator instead of on a regulated exchange.
Hello System Trader,
The prop firm is not replacing the exchange, nor running a parallel exchange. Yes, a trader’s virtual balance goes up or down depending on the success of their trading activity, and trader’s may withdraw a positive balance in cash (minus simulated direct and indirect costs), however the firm does not mirror or hedge the sim orders. Furthermore, the firm does not seek reimbursement for a “trading loss” (i.e. trading PnL net of direct and indirect costs being negative).
The LiveSim does its utmost to simulate a live trading environment and bridge the gap to Live trading. Traders are only deducted the fees from the data provider, and the professional trading fees as defined by the CME. Participants have the option to pay this directly out of pocket or have it deducted from the account. These are real costs, and reflect the same costs that are absorbed by traders in a live trading environment.
We reiterate that the company has received no legal argument from its counsel why a prop firm may not pay people who trade on a simulated data feed. Furthermore, this is an optional program for candidates who have passed their examination and do not want to wait for their live accounts to be setup. It is not compelled, and the program is fully transparent. It is up to the traders to decide once they have passed their examinations and are accepted by the prop firm whether or not they would like to participate.
there not a usa company at all po box in chicago only
lock him away ! there are many others like him out there. well done on putting article forward and thanks !
Wow. If he’s not been involved since July why didn’t he say that to Emmett when he spoke to him?
Never joined Earn2Trade. I did notice that each month they are offering discounts on
their programs. At the moment it looked as a bid to get more customers.
But with this information, I think they knew they are under CFTC investigation.
Did you know that Ryan also connected Finamark trading software? If not mistaken it is his
brother there. He also had some investment firm Masten Lojk0. There is from my view,
a lot of problems hidden there.
And that he had been listed as CTA? And check Oasis Holdings LTD LLC.
Statement on Allegations of Personal Wrongdoing by Former Co-Founder
September 2nd, 2020
On September 2nd, 2020 the CFTC charged the former co-founder of Earn2Trade, Ryan Masten of violating CFTC regulations on several counts. None of the alleged incidents took place during Ryan’s ownership of Earn2Trade, nor had they any connection to Earn2Trade. By April, 2019, Ryan was already a fractional minority shareholder in Earn2Trade, and on July 1st, 2020 his final shares were purchased and he was no longer a shareholder in the company.
Earn2Trade is saddened to hear of the allegations against its former co-founder.
Earn2Trade strongly rejects the alleged activities and rejects unregulated Binary
Options trading in its entirety. Despite the current allegations, Ryan’s tenure at
Earn2Trade was a successful one. He helped build a great company and we are
proud today of what we have accomplished.
Earn2Trade prides itself on providing an objective examination and an equal
opportunity for retail traders around the world to test themselves and become
professional futures traders. We stand by the outstanding work our company
does every day, and we remain committed to providing a fair environment for
retail traders to test themselves and enter the world of trading.