Senate Ag hosts oversight hearing on CFTC
The Senate Agriculture Committee on Thursday held an oversight hearing on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
The formal topic of the hearing was on cryptocurrency and occurred the same day the CFTC issued a customer protection advisory warning customers “to beware of and avoid pump-and-dump schemes that can occur in thinly traded or new alternative’ virtual currencies, digital coins or tokens.”
“As with many online frauds, this type of scam is not new — it simply deploys an emerging technology to capitalize on public interest in digital assets,” said CFTC Director of Public Affairs Erica Elliott Richardson.
“Pump-and-dump schemes long pre-date the invention of virtual currencies, and typically conjure the image of penny stock boiler rooms, but customers should know that these frauds have evolved and are prevalent online,” Richardson said.
“Even experienced investors can become targets of professional fraudsters who are experts at deploying seemingly credible information in an attempt to deceive. The CFTC encourages all customers to thoroughly research potential investments, stay informed about tactics commonly used in investment fraud, and avoid investment opportunities they don’t fully understand.”
CFTC Chairman Christopher Giancarlo testified broadly, but did not mention President Donald Trump’s budget proposal to impose user fees to finance the commission’s work.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said he would consider the user fees a tax on farmers. Senate Agriculture ranking member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said she remains an advocate of providing the commission the resources it needs to protect the public.
In his opening statement, Roberts noted that the committee has approved the nomination of Republican Dawn Stump as a commissioner, and said he wishes the full Senate would approve her nomination as soon as possible.
Roberts also said that the committee would act on the nomination of the other vacant commissioner as soon as President Donald Trump sends the Senate a nominee. The vacant commissioner slot is expected to be a Democrat, and the nominees usually move through the Senate in pairs.
–The Hagstrom Report
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