N.H. stock tip firm settles with FTC, declares ‘total vindication'
The Federal Trade Commission and Raging Bull, a Lee, New Hampshire financial firm that sells trading tips to investors, have agreed to settle a civil lawsuit that accused the company of misleading customers into believing they could make fast profits in the stock market.
In December 2020, the FTC alleged in court documents that Raging Bull and its owners Jason Bond, also known as Jason Kowalik, and Jeff Bishop, along with Kyle Dennis, an instructor for the firm, bilked more than $137M from customers by charging for stock tips that failed to pan out.
The company was also accused of making it difficult for customers to cancel their monthly subscriptions. New Hampshire securities regulators simultaneously took legal action accusing the company’s executives of falsely portraying their own successes, including the use of a private jet in marketing materials.
Both regulatory entities said they had received numerous complaints from consumers about the company’s claims and business practices.
But under the terms of the settlement approved last week by a federal judge in Maryland, Raging Bull will pay only $2.4 million in fines, prompting the firm to post a statement declaring “a total vindication for Raging Bull.”
“Raging Bull rebutted every core allegation made by the FTC in its lawsuit with documents and other evidence, including company testimony, of the type the FTC never even asked for before it unleashed its ‘shoot first … and ask questions later’ lawsuit,” the company wrote in a statement.
Raging Bull’s executives declined an interview request.
Under the terms of the settlement, the company agreed to modify certain marketing practices, including not misrepresenting the level of experience or money necessary to effectively profit off of Raging Bull’s tips.
The company said the lawsuit cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars in litigation fees. The firm was allowed to continue operating throughout the legal challenge under the oversight of a court-appointed monitor.
The FTC also hailed the settlement as a win for consumers, noting that the firm is required to simplify its process for canceling subscriptions.
“Raging Bull’s baseless earnings claims and hard-to-cancel subscriptions cost consumers millions,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection in a public statement posted to the agency’s website.
A spokesperson for the FTC did not respond to a request for an interview.
In 2021, Raging Bull settled with New Hampshire regulators, agreeing to return more than $700,000 to investors and pay an additional $675,000 in fines, while also curtailing some of its marketing practices.