EmpiresX, currently under Receivership as Empires Consulting, has settled commodities fraud charges with the CFTC.

The proposed settlement against Empirex details a permanent injunction and $32.1 million civil monetary penalty.

Specific fraud charges brought by the CFTC against Empires Consulting and individual defendants Emerson Pires, Flavio Goncalves and Joshua Nicholas include:

  • fraud
  • failure to register as a commodity pool operator
  • fraud and deceit by a commodity pool operator
  • commingling funds by a commodity pool operator

A March 13th filed joint motion requesting settlement approval  stipulates an injunction, prohibiting Empires Consulting from committing further commodities related acts of fraud.

With respect to restitution and a civil monetary penalty, Empires Consulting has consented to a $32,178,397 civil monetary penalty and another $32,178,397 in restitution.

Last May EmpiresX, again as Empires Consulting, settled parallel securities fraud charges with the SEC for the same $32.1 million amount.

Following their respective indictments in 2022, Emerson Pires and Flavio Goncalves remain at large. A $45.8 default judgment was ordered against the pair in June 2023.

Following his arrest and subsequent guilty plea, Joshua Nicholas was sentenced to 51 months in November 2022.

Nicholas received a $300,026 judgment in the SEC’s parallel proceedings. In the CFTC case, Nicholas entered into settlement negotiations back in April 2023.

As per a March 6th filing requesting a stay on CFTC proceedings against him, Nicholas, as the referenced defendant in the filing, wrote;

On or around June 1, 2023, CFTC prepared, and sent, inter alia, drafts of a settlement agreement , and a consent order to Defendant with a return envelope and paid-for postal label.

However, the documents, including the draft settlement agreement, were never returned by Defendant.

[In a recent conversation with a CFTC attorney] Defendant explained … that he previously, in fact, had been ready to sign and send back the draft settlement agreement but had been prevented from doing so because a prison guard—without rhyme or reason—maliciously tore up the postal label needed to return the documents in front of of his face.

As a result of the prison guard’s alleged conduct, Nicholas requested a stay so he may resume settlement proceedings with the CFTC.

The court granted Nicholas’ motion on March 7th, requiring a Status Report be filed by June 5th.

At time of publication, a decision on the Empires Consulting CFTC settlement remains pending.


Update 6th April 2024 – The court approved the CFTC’s EmpiresX settlement on March 15th.