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Jason Scharf, Citrades, and associates
Binary Options Fraud
Jason Scharf, Citrades, and associates
Binary Options Fraud
Some days it feels like the scammers never get caught and punished. Today is not one of those days. Today, a major scammer has a date with justice.
The CFTC just made the announcement. Jason Scharf of Citrades (formerly CitiTrader) and some of his associates have been charged with Binary Options Fraud. Some of the companies involved have been charged with "Participating in Massive Fraud". Not just fraud, but Massive fraud.
Before showing you everything the CFTC had to say, I want to share some other information with you. Jason and his employees have an interesting history related to clients and to the FPA.
It started when FPA member berrien2012 complained about CitiTrader stealing profits because "investigations" resulted in winning trades being cancelled. A new member called Mike_123 dropped into the thread to defend CitiTrader. In his first post, he sounded like an employee of CitiTrader. In his second post, he claimed to be a client of CitiTrader for many years. When Pharaoh pointed out the inconsistency, Mike_123 replied...
"First things first, I wish I was a Cititrader employee. However, you are correct, I didnt understand the first post. I have not had any issues with money with holding though. After my bonus ran out, I would receive my money promptly."
Mike must have had a magic lamp with a genie in it. His wish to be a CitiTrader employee was fullfilled and backdated to when he created his FPA account. When I checked his account, it turned out that he registered from a CitiTrader.com email address with the name Rome on it. You can Click Here to see the thread and Mike/Rome's lies.
I emailed Jason Scharf about this abuse by an employee, he claimed that none of his employees would ever do this and asked for proof. When I told him the email address and the IP (188.8.131.52), he claimed to have fired Rome.
While CitiTrader employee Rome was spamming one thread, FPA member Weiniwinslow had opened another thread. She said CitiTrader was blocking her withdrawal because they had altered the age limit of what was considered to be a minor. She said their TOS originally said they accepted clients 18 years old and up, but raised the limit to 21 when she tried to withdraw her profits. She was 19 at the time. Click Here to read her thread.
I asked Jason Scharf to look into this. Across several emails, he made these statements...
"We have no reason to change out terms and conditions like that."
"our age limit is 21 its a fact, it was not changed."
"these terms were never changed"
Here is a copy of the TOS taken from Google's webcache before the age was raised from 18 to 21. I sent Jason Scharf a copy of the original terms which clearly said the age limit was 18, not 21.
Jason then promised to post in Weiniwinslow's thread. Instead, he changed his mind, accused her of being a little crazy, and then tried to discuss advertising his company at the FPA. I ignored his veiled bribe attempt and continued to try to get him to post in the thread to address his client's issues.
Then, one of Jason's employees threatened to come to the FPA and expose Weiniwinslow's private information. Jason denied that his employee made any threat and claimed the statement was false. I had to point out what the attachment in the thread began with...
"I will gladly post your personal information... "
Jason Scharf stalled saying he was busy and also asked what I would do if I were in his shoes. I told him...
"If I were in your shoes...
I'd tell my staff to make themselves unavailable to Weini and forward all communications on the issue to me. Dealing with a client who already has a lawyer is a very delicate thing. Since my company is already in a compromised position due to the definition of who is a minor being changed, this issue should be handled at the highest level.
I would require all existing staff and new hires to undergo training about how to deal with clients and the public, including websites, in ways that would not risk my company's integrity and reputation. I'd then test my front line support with some special "clients" who are really just there to see if support personnel can remain professional in high stress situations.
I would make certain that all communications between myself and Weini and her lawyer were done by email to reduce any chance of miscommunications.
I would invite the person on my staff who convinced me that the terms of service were not changed to come into my office. I would ask that person to explain why Google's cache shows that the definition of "minor" on my website was 18 years old not that long ago. I would tell the person that, because of those assurances, I emailed the FPA and wrote, "our age limit is 21 its a fact, it was not changed." I would give that person 1 hour to find out who changed the terms , when the terms were changed, and why they were changed. I would make the person or persons behind the change responsible for fixing all the issues this has caused, even if it means paying Weini's withdrawal and legal fees out of that person's salary."
Jason thanked me for my advice, but chose to ignore it. It also turned out that someone named Rome was hiring freelancers to spam the FPA and attack Weiniwinslow.
Jason denied everything and claimed the people leaving the fake posts were real clients. He told me I was making false accusations and had no right to ban his claimed clients from expressing their opinions. I sent him a link to this...
You can Click Here to see samples of some of the spam Jason's employee Rome bought.
Jason Scharf had now been caught in multiple lies. He'd claimed his terms of service had always defined a minor as being under 21. He'd claimed he'd fired his personal spammer Rome. He'd claimed spam came from clients. He'd promised again and again to post in Weiniwinslow's thread, but didn't do so. He'd claimed none of his employees had threatened to disclose Weiniwinslow's personal information. To show how professional he was, he decided to claim the FPA had it in for his company instead of acknowledging or fixing any problems he or his staff had created.
In a related conversation, I asked Jason Scharf if his company still had a US address. He wrote back...
"Cititrader does not have, nor has ever had offices in the US.
I have no idea what you are talking about."
I sent him a partial address and even a photo of the house. He continued to claim he had no idea what I was talking about. Then I pointed out the domain registration of CitiTrader.us ...
Administrative Contact Name: Jason Scharf
Administrative Contact Organization: A & J Media
Administrative Contact Address1: 5534 Alcove
Administrative Contact City: Valley Village
Administrative Contact State/Province: California
Administrative Contact Postal Code: 91607
Administrative Contact Country: United States
Administrative Contact Country Code: US
Administrative Contact Phone Number: +972.527475447
Administrative Contact Email: email@example.com
Once again, Jason Scharf didn't seem to value the truth.
There were other incidents, including Traders Court cases and an eventual Scam label applied to Citrades/CitiTrader over 2 years ago. Eventually Weiniwinslow's issue was partly resolved, but only after she agreed to remove nearly everything she posted. Cases like that are why I had to restrict removal of facts. I think the information above gives a clear picture of how the Citrades/Citrader was being run. Jason also is behind autotradingbinary.com and a number of other domains.
I have a feeling we may see some additional charges again Jason Scharf in the near future.
This post is getting too long. I'll put the CFTC press release in the next post.