Why I began this GoFundMe Drive

When I was the young general counsel of the Senate Agriculture Committee I drafted the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Act of 1974. I did so with the help of Doctor Richard Sandor,  the young economist of the Chicago  Board of Trade. I certainly would not have had sufficient expertise without him.

When I left the Senate in 1978 to go into private practice, my first client was the Chicago Board of Trade. It remained my client until It was
acquired by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in 2007.

The thing that made the system work was the requirement that all trades go through a clearing member . Leslie Rosenthal was the Chairman of the CBOT Clearing Corporation.

I did pro bono work after the Great Recession of 2008 as a member of The Coalition for Futures Reform. This effort was to seek remedies for the economic meltdown rather than seek to find fraudulent activity of any individual trader. It resulted in the enactment of the legislation known as Dodd-Frank.

Over the years, a complete body of law and regulation has developed. There were some little incidents when traders tried tried to get around the law and paid the price. However, there were never any major scandals until now. A few months ago a major scandal erupted involving OptionSellers.com, a solely owned hedge fund of James Cordier.

There is a tearful mea culpa by Cordier recorded on YouTube as well as  commentary by other hedge fund operators saying  what  he did wrong. There was a bigger scandal when  Bernie Madoff used a Ponzi scheme to cheat investors  out of even more money. However, this was under the jurisdiction of the SEC. Madoff is serving his sentence of 145 years in jail. Tragically his son committed suicide.

There is no indication of such venality in the case of James Cordier. However, he used  unbelievably bad judgment investing his hundreds of millions of dollars of clients money. There will Congressional hearings, and steps will be taken to insure that this never happens again. All victims should contact their members of Congress. The Special Victims Unit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is talking to victims.

In this case the clearing member is not accepting any responsibility for this debacle. It is trying to place the blame on the victims. In my case, I was I was initially billed almost one million dollars for the losses of the clearing firm.

The clearing firm is INTL FCSTone. This a publicly traded company with over seven hundred million dollars of market capitalization. These numbers and their stock price can be checked on line at any time.

Subsequently this clearing firm has backed off from their position that I owed them money and offered to pay me a small sum. However, I will not believe them until the money is in my bank account.

I want to spread the word to the victims of this debacle. I no longer live in the Washington area. It will require some travel there to talk to Members of Congress and the FBI. I still have the habit of carefully recording my expenses.

In any event I will be less expensive than a large contingent fee law firm. There several that want up the  victims of OptionSellers. You can sign up with. There are two problems with this. First they say it would take a year and a half to win the case. Second, their fee is generally 35% of anything they win. I recently terminated my agreement with the law firm I signed up with.

I still have credibility and good will with the senior members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees. To some extent their creditability as the oversight  committees of the CFTC is also on the line.

Mike McLeod