Company Claimed Fast Money Through Stock Tips; Regulators Say They Broke Law
The Federal Trade Commission, as well as state financial regulators, are accusing a New Hampshire-based company that sells stock tips and investment strategies of defrauding customers out of $137 million.
In a court filing, the FTC alleges that Raging Bull, which is headquartered in Lee, misled customers with promises of fast returns on the market, as long as investors adhered to their stock tips, which were available for purchase through monthly newsletters and $800 webinars.
In truth, the agency says there was a long list of customers who lost money following Raging Bull’s tips, and then when those customers attempted to seek refunds or cancel their subscriptions, they faced obstacles.
“The majority of consumers do not beat the market or make the kinds of returns advertised,” government lawyers write in a legal filing. “Many consumers have lost substantial sums of money in the stock market following Defendant’s strategy or trade recommendations; some consumers have even lost tens of thousands of dollars on just a few trades.”
The FTC claims the company has issued a series of recommendations in recent months geared at profiting off of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the global health crisis has created a series of “plays” that savvy investors could turn into profit.
In total, regulators contend the company, which features market advice from at least seven men dubbed ‘experts’, has defrauded consumers of more than $137 million dollars.
In addition to the federal filing, New Hampshire’s Bureau of Securities Regulation Tuesday issued a cease and desist letter. The agency contends that company founders Jason Bond of Durham and Jeffrey Bishop of Barrington would execute trades just before releasing their tips, driving up their own profits.
“Raging Bull’s overarching theme is: I make millions trading, follow me and you can
too!” said Attorney Spill, deputy director of the Bureau.
The company hasn’t yet responded to the legal filings. As of Tuesday afternoon, its website was still touting investment strategies including two “option plays” that would benefit from the latest vaccine news.
Regulators accuse Raging Bull of deceptive practices, including giving customers the illusion that the company’s owners were earning millions of dollars off of their own investment savvy. Images on the company’s website appear to show the company’s owners boarding a private jet.
“Based on the Bureau’s investigation," regulators wrote, "....Jason Bond, is not a millionaire trader earning millions in trading profits annually. Additionally, Raging Bull does not own a jet plane.”
The FTC’s lawsuit was filed in a federal court in Maryland, where Raging Bull also operates an office.