SEC Charges Texas Resident with Defrauding Investors

Litigation Release No. 25211 / September 20, 2021

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Leena Jaitley, d/b/a Managed Option Trading and Options By Pros, Defendant, and Taraben Patel and OTA LLC, Relief Defendants, No. 1:21-cv-00832 (W.D. Tex. filed (September 20, 2021)

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Texas resident Leena Jaitley (a.k.a. Ali Jaitley and Leena Patel) with operating fraudulent options trading websites.

According to the SEC's complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Jaitley operated two fraudulent websites called Managed Option Trading and OptionsbyPros. As alleged, clients would provide with the websites access to their on-line brokerage accounts and allow traders purportedly employed by the websites to trade options on their behalf, in return for a "start-up" fee and a percentage of the profit generated by those trades. The SEC alleges that to convince investors to subscribe for the services, Jaitley falsely claimed, among other things, that the websites used a unique, proprietary system designed to generate profits, had a long track record of successful investing, and employed scores of traders in New York with experience at large and reputable broker-dealers. Jaitley also allegedly solicited and published fake testimonials and positive reviews by supposed clients of the websites. According to the complaint, however, the only "traders" at the websites were Jaitley and, possibly, her now-deceased, 84-year-old father - neither of whom had any relevant education or experience or any unique, proprietary system for reliably producing trading profits from trading options. The SEC alleges that ultimately, the websites frequently lost all or most of the money in their clients' accounts, and when clients complained about the trading losses, Jaitley, using an alias and posing as a representative of the websites, often responded by email or text message to falsely disavow any responsibility and blame the client or someone else for her losing trades.

The complaint charges Jaitley with violating the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and charges Taraben Patel and OTA LLC as relief defendants. The complaint seeks a permanent injunction, an order of disgorgement together with prejudgment interest, and the imposition of civil penalties.

The SEC's investigation was conducted by Greg Hillson, Christian J. Ascunce, and Brian Shute, and was supervised by Yuri B. Zelinsky and Jessica Regan. The litigation will be handled by Paul Kisslinger and supervised by Stephan Schlegelmilch.