CFTC Brings Record Number of Crypto Cases

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  • The CFTC yesterday released its enforcement results for Fiscal Year 2023, showing a notable surge in digital asset-related cases
  • Throughout the fiscal year, the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement initiated 96 enforcement actions, targeting fraud, manipulation, and various substantial violations in markets encompassing digital assets and swaps
  • Over $4.3 billion in penalties, restitution, and disgorgement has been obtained

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) yesterday released its enforcement results for Fiscal Year 2023, highlighting a significant increase in cases related to digital assets. During its fiscal year, the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement filed 96 enforcement actions, charging fraud, manipulation, and other significant violations across various markets, including digital assets and swaps markets. These actions have resulted in more than $4.3 billion in penalties, restitution, and disgorgement.

CFTC Plays Its Greatest Hits

The CFTC claimed in its report to be “a premier enforcement agency in the digital asset space,” backing up its claim with 47 actions filed in the 2023 fiscal year related to digital asset commodities, representing over 49% of all actions during the period. Some of its highlights include:

  • Charging Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX, Alameda, and others for an alleged fraudulent scheme involving digital asset commodities, leading to a loss of over $8 billion in FTX customer assets
  • Charging Binance, its founder, and a former chief compliance officer with operating an illegal digital asset derivatives exchange and evading CEA and CFTC regulations
  • Charging Celsius and its former CEO with fraud and material misrepresentations in connection with a commodity pool scheme involving digital asset commodities
  • Charging Avraham Eisenberg for a fraudulent and manipulative scheme to unlawfully obtain over $110 million in digital assets

The CFTC says that these actions demonstrate the CFTC’s commitment to promoting the integrity, resilience, and vibrancy of the United States derivatives markets, with Chairman Rostin Behnam praising the “groundbreaking work in the digital asset space” being done by the agency, which it says is actively working to protect customer funds and ensure fair prices for US consumers in an ever-evolving digital asset landscape.

Director of Enforcement Ian McGinley added that the “expertise and professionalism” of CFTC staff is bringing “groundbreaking and impactful cases in emerging markets, such as the digital asset markets, as well as in our traditional markets.”