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Online trader ordered to pay $145K for defrauding local resident

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Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s Securities Division ordered a New York City online trading company to pay more than $145,000 for defrauding a Springfield resident.

Trading Epic, which lists an incomplete address in New York, New York, on its website, was ordered to pay restitution plus interest, civil penalties and investigation costs, according to a news release from Ashcroft’s office. The Securities Division also issued a cease-and-desist order.

The company, which Ashcroft’s office claims falsely states it’s registered with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, allegedly bilked the elderly Springfieldian out of thousands of dollars in a trading scheme.

The resident invested $300 in November 2018 after being contacted by a Trading Epic agent through Facebook. The agent claimed the $300 could grow to $4,000 within a week, according to the release.

As of Dec. 12, the Springfieldian’s Trading Epic account showed a balance of $16,700, but the investor was unable to withdraw funds, even after paying a $1,905 withdrawal fee. Trading Epic also demanded another $1,711 to pay taxes on the profits of the investment. The investor did not receive any money back, Ashcroft’s office claims.

“The anonymity of the internet invites untrustworthy agents to operate without disclosing who they really are,” said David Minnick, securities commissioner for Ashcroft’s office, in the release. “Always find out who you’re dealing with before you provide money or confidential information to someone urging you to invest. If you have any questions about an agent or business, contact our office first.”

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