CFTC Charges Firm With Illegally Providing Leveraged Trading of Crypto, Gold

A Caribbean-based firm is in hot water with the CFTC for allegedly allowing U.S. retail investors to partake in leveraged trading of cryptocurrencies and precious metals.

AccessTimeIconSep 28, 2020 at 2:52 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:01 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

A company based in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is in hot water with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for allegedly allowing U.S. retail investors to partake in leveraged trading of cryptocurrencies and precious metals.

  • The firm, Laino Group Limited (trading as PaxForex), is accused of illegally conducting retail commodity transactions and not having registered as a futures commission merchant (FCM).  
  • From around 2018 on, PaxForex is said to have unlawfully traded bitcoin, ether, litecoin, gold, and silver without conducting transactions through a registered contract market, violating the Commodity Exchange Act.
  • The company is further alleged to have acted as an FCM, with staff and agents soliciting and taking orders for retail commodity transactions, without being registered as such with the CFTC.
  •  “This action shows the CFTC’s continued commitment to ensuring that entities offering leveraged, retail transactions within our jurisdiction – including those involving digital assets – register with the CFTC,” according to James McDonald, CFTC Division of Enforcement director. 
  • The commission is seeking disgorgement of "ill-gotten gains," penalties and restitution, as well as permanent registration and trading bans.
  • A civil enforcement action was filed Monday at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.

Read more about