Published by Oil and Gas 360
December 5, 2018 – 3:46 PM EST
Hundreds of Investors – Many Unsophisticated Retirees – Already Cleaned Out By Disastrous Trading in the Natural Gas Market Now Facing Second Assault in the Form of $35 Million or More in Margin Calls … and Pressure to Sign Away Their Rights to Recourse.
NEW ORLEANS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The following was issued by: PEIFFER WOLF CARR & KANE.
If investors thought that having their accounts completely liquidated by the OptionSellers.com natural gas investment debacle totaling $150 million or more in losses was as bad as it could get, the brokerage firm INTL FCStone is now seeking an additional $35 million in margin calls and more is likely to follow, according to Joseph Peiffer, attorney and managing partner at Peiffer Wolf Carr & Kane (PWCK). For more information, go to https://www.optionsellerslawsuits.com/.
Making matters worse: FCStone is pressuring investors to sign forbearance agreements, which include language that would release the brokerage from any future claims or actions from investors.
Attorney Peiffer said: “Investors in this situation should seek legal counsel now to protect their rights and avoid being wiped out twice. Ironically, you have a hedge fund here that didn’t hedge. Worse yet, the brokerage firm that cleared and executed these trades is now seeking to collect an additional $35 million in margin calls from the same investors that just got wiped out … and also putting the squeeze on them to relinquish their legal rights. This has turned into a real double-whammy nightmare for investors in OptionSellers.com natural gas scheme.”
The OptionSellers.com hedge fund engaged in wildly speculative trading in natural gas options. James Cordier, the president of the firm, was a viral internet sensation just a few days ago when he issued a weepy explanatory video.
Even with a focus on high-net-worth individuals, OptionSellers.com was aggressively marketed to a wide spectrum of individuals, including unsophisticated retirees.
To date, the brokerage firm INTL FCStone has started the process of liquidating at least 300 client accounts managed by OptionSellers.com after balances in those accounts fell below minimum margin requirements. The brokerage is now seeking $35.3 million it says are owed by the clients. In many or most cases, investors with OptionSellers.com are financially unable to pay because they were just wiped out.
PWCK Partner Jason Kane said: “Not only did these investors not stand a chance in this investment, but INTL FCStone is now attempting to take them to the cleaners again in the form of option calls and releases. It is imperative for investors to take stock of their options for legal redress in the face of this devastating financial news.”
Buried in a footnote of INTL FCStone’s November 28, 2018 Statement of Financial Condition, it appears that the brokerage firm is claiming that OptionSellers.com clients may each owe the brokerage firm as much as $1.4 million.
OptionSellers.com stumbled in the volatile energy markets with disastrous results last month. In mid-November, oil prices fell by the largest amount in a single day in three years and then on the very next day natural gas futures had their biggest intraday gain in eight years.
Cordier marketed himself as a leading market expert. He co-authored a book titled “The Complete Guide to Option Selling.” In May, he penned a bylined article in Futures magazine about the perils of trading in the gas market.
In a 2013 lawsuit filed by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), James Cordier, president of OptionSellers.com, his partner Michael Gross, and former firm Liberty Trading Group were charged nearly $50,000 for improper trading.
Separately, INTL FCStone was involved in its own natural-gas options controversy in 2013. As reported in a CFTC notice in May of that year, the CFTC fined the company $1.5 million for a failure “to prevent an unchecked customer from taking grossly excessive risks” and the brokerage ended up with losses of $127 million.
ABOUT PEIFFER WOLF CARR & KANE
Peiffer Wolf Carr & Kane, APLC is a national law firm with offices in New Orleans, New York, Cleveland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Missouri. You may contact us here.
MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Dunlap, (614) 706-7672, or [email protected]