On December 3, 2018, the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) charged Mark Suleymanov with securities fraud.
All sorts of securities fraud.
However, these SEC filings are vanilla flavored, sugar-free ice cream. They don’t load much into their statements. They don’t tell the whole story.
And this is an interesting story. And a lesson for all trading educational companies, that also want to venture into the crocodile-infested waters of an unlicensed and unregistered stock brokerage business.
The Latest Trend in Fraud
Recently, I have been keenly watching several companies that have been traditional ‘investment educators’ with the primary purpose of selling all manner of investment education miracles.
You know the story; Investment Educator and his company want you to fork over $3k for magical trading indicators and $300 per month to watch the supposed Guru trade his live account.
Nearly all are frauds and phonies. TradingSchools.Org has exposed many of these charlatans. However, like the good and clever con artists that they are…they have to create a new series of frauds in which to keep the gravy train moving.
The latest hustle is to establish a CFD or Contracts For Difference stock brokerage and then funnel the customers that purchased the educational products into the brokerage, that they also own.
In effect, it’s a ‘double-dip’ scheme. Charge for education. And then skin them alive with a brokerage business that is tainted, expensive, and highly manipulated so that the customer is nearly guaranteed to fail.
The SEC and the CFTC don’t do a good job of explaining the nuance of the fraud. That’s why I am here.
Mark Suleymanov the phony trading educator
Beginning in 2012, Mary Suleymanov wanted everyone to believe that he was a highly successful investment educator. And so, he created a series of websites with fantastical names like AssetSignals.com, BinaryAcademics.com, and CFDsignals.com.
These websites were subscription-based services where Mark would supposedly teach you his magical methods of becoming an investment maestro. He cooed, “I am a millionaire trader, and I want you to also be a millionaire trader.” Just pay the fee, learn the material, follow the trading signals, and your money worries will be a thing of the past.
According to the SEC, Mark hustled hundreds of United States based investors into his very own “Trump University.”
Mark Suleymanov the Binary Options and CFD Broker
Scamming people for ‘investment education’ and ‘trading signals’ were only part of a bigger plan. Mark is a greedy fucker.
The other side of Mark’s scam is that he established several Binary Options and CFD brokerages through shady offshore dealers located in Cyprus.
Yes, that Cyprus. The wonderful place where Russian mobsters, drug dealers, and investment swindlers off all manner and stripe seem to congregate and launder their money. And yes, Mark was in familiar company, as he himself is also a Ukrainian, with perhaps ties to organized criminals in New York.
Mark lives in New York, in this ridiculous 10,000 square foot mansion. And this served as his base of operation.
From this location, he controlled several illegal stock brokerages, which included OptionsMogul.com, SpotFN.com, and BinaryFN.com.
The educational services served to steer the sheeple into these illegal stock brokerages.
Now remember, as we have already talked about in prior articles…these illegal brokerages take the other side of the bets from the students.
When the student loses his investment, then Mark Suleymanov wins.
However, what if the student somehow gets lucky? And he actually wins through this rigged carnival? Can he get his ‘winnings’ out? This is where the story turns cold and ugly.
Phony Brokerage Refuses To Pay
Mark never intended for any of his students to actually be successful. He already knew that his ‘investment educational’ products were pure rubbish, and anyone that took his trades were destined to fail through the rigged brokerage.
However, some got lucky. And they wanted to get their big paydays. Mark refused. And these persons promptly went to the FBI in the Eastern District of New York and filed a complaint.
Mark probably could of kept his scam going for years and years, but like all bucket shops…they all eventually fail. They all eventually refuse to pay. Black Swan market events unfold, and they get caught with their underwear around their ankles.
The FBI Investigates
When the FBI investigates, they dont just show up at your door and proclaim, “Hello good friend! I am here to investigate!” Nope, they are very fucking sneaky and they investigate without your knowledge. By the time they actually show up at your door, you are already a cooked goose. Ready for the dinner table. Or a Federal Prison near by.
Anyway, the FBI opens an investigation on Mark Suleymanov and his offshore stock brokerages. Little did Mark know, the FBI got subpoenas to read all of Mark’s emails. Can you imagine that? The FBI reading your emails and you have no idea!
And so, the FBI pieced together the scam. Which as per the FBI complaint:
- Mark hustled $7,000,000 in deposits into checking account.
- He then converted these funds into ‘play money’ in which customers could then buy and sell CFD’s and Binary Options.
- Mark then conspired with the software providers of the phony stock brokerage to ‘rig the game’ so that investors were virtually guaranteed to lose.
- If the sucker refused to lose and somehow got lucky, then Mark simply refused to pay.
What I find most incredible about this story is what we have all long suspected…that white label CFD brokers rig the software which virtually guarantees that the user will lose ALL of their money. It all happens with a simple keystroke. The user never realizes what is happening.
I have written about this before. In fact, for fun and entertainment, I went through the process of uncovering the exact details of how CFD brokers routinely rig their trading platforms. It’s ugly. It malicious. And it absolutely fraudulent.
And as per the FBI complaint, this is exactly what Mark did. Have a read:SuleymanovIndictment
Mark Suleymanov is Arrested
Finally, during the month of July 2018, Mark Sulemanov was arrested by the FBI and taken to the shithouse. Of course, this a far cry from the 10,000 square foot mansion in which he hiding.
A few days later, Mark made a $5oo,000 bail by offering his stupid mansion as collateral.
As per his release, and awaiting trial for fraud, he was ordered to the following:
- Must wear a GPS ankle bracelet to monitor his location.
- Cannot drive a car, or leave his house.
- Cannot contact his victims or co-conspirators.
- Must immediately stop scamming people in CFD or Binary Options schemes.
For those interested in these sorts of details, you can read the Release Order While Awaiting Trial:SpotFN
The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen.
I love that saying. It simply means that whatever minor disruption, things will continue as before. The Queen may have died. But at that very moment, a new Queen takes her place.
In the past several years, we have seen quite a few Binary Options brokerages shut down by regulatory authorities. The truly clever Binary Options brokerages, which committed the most fraud, also offered an ancillary ‘educational’ component. And this certainly is the case involving Mark Suleymanov.
However, the Binary Options brokerages that were so prevalent only a year ago, have now been replaced by CFD Brokerages. There really is no difference.
In fact, the same old characters that developed and sold the Binary Options platforms are now selling the CFD platforms.
The same old characters that worked in the Binary Options boiler room sales operations are now working in the CFD boiler room sales operations. No difference.
The Queen is dead. Long live the queen.
The Moral of the Story
First and foremost…whenever a ‘trading educator’ wants to teach you how to get rich, and then pushes you into an unlicensed brokerage located on an island best known for pool parties and string bikinis, then you are probably about to be scammed.
And use some common sense…if a trading educator also owns the brokerage, and is taking the opposite side of all of your wagers, then who is the likely winner? Hint: it won’t be you.
Instead, focus your educational resources on providers where your interests are aligned.
And deposit your funds only with brokerages with deep and wide reputations for not scamming their clients.
Thanks for reading.