SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against New Jersey Resident Charged with Ponzi Scheme Targeting Retail Investors

Litigation Release No. 24393 / February 8, 2019

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Spark Trading Group, LLC and Niket Shah, No. 18-cv-1498 (E.D.N.Y. filed Mar. 12, 2018)

The Securities and Exchange Commission has obtained a final judgment against a New Jersey resident who was charged last year by the agency with stealing more than $250,000 in a Ponzi scheme in which his friends and coworkers invested.

The court's final judgment follows the court's grant of summary judgment in the agency's favor. In granting summary judgment, the court found that Niket Shah and his company, Spark Trading Group LLC, falsely claimed that Spark Trading was registered with the SEC; that their investments were profitable; that investors' funds were guaranteed; and that defendants received $250,000 in start-up capital, including $200,000 that Shah deposited into a binary options trading account.

The final judgment, entered on December 20, 2018 by the Honorable Brian M. Cogan of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, permanently enjoins Niket Shah and his company, Spark Trading Group LLC, from violating the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and holds Shah and Spark Trading jointly and severally liable for disgorgement of $299,229 plus interest of $24,742. The judgment also orders Shah to pay a civil penalty of $370,944.