CFTC Attempts Backpedal to Escape Judicial Scrutiny

Washington, District of Columbia, UNITED STATES


Washington, DC, March 03, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aristotle International, service provider for the leading prediction market, PredictIt, is responding to the latest actions by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) against the site. The Commission issued a letter on Aug. 4, 2022 directing PredictIt to shut down. Yesterday the Commission withdrew their previous letter, which was challenged as illegal in pending legal proceedings, and issued an update.

“This action is an acknowledgement that they haven’t treated PredictIt or it’s traders and education partners in a fair or just way so they’re trying to go back and change history,” said David Mason, Aristotle General Counsel and former Federal Election Commission (FEC) Chairman.

The new letter was sent to PredictIt sponsor, Victoria University of Wellington, withdrawing its Aug. 4, 2022, letter and reissuing a preliminary shut down decision. At effectively the same time, the CFTC informed Aristotle International that it intends to use this letter to attempt to prematurely terminate pending legal proceedings in the Fifth Circuit, pursuant to a judicial complaint that the company along with more than a dozen PredictIt traders, educators and others have filed challenging the Aug. 4 shutdown order. 

This move comes three weeks after a panel of the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals asked CFTC’s attorney a series of skeptical questions about the Aug. 4 shutdown order. One Judge described the CFTC’s actions as a “license to bully.” The oral argument of that hearing can be listened to here.

Aristotle has the following statement in response to these developments:

“The CFTC’s letter on PredictIt today is an acknowledgment that its action last August to withdraw the no-action letter was illegal because it lacked basic procedural fairness and transparency. While this belated admission of wrongdoing is welcome, the Commission’s new letter is a desperate attempt to escape the consequences of its prior ill-considered action by avoiding judicial review and the ruling we have requested requiring the Commission to treat those affected by its actions fairly.

“We reject the CFTC’s characterization of the facts. In particular, we note that we have been transparent with and responsive to the Commission about all the matters addressed in their letter for more than eight years. We are disappointed that the CFTC continues to insist that traders and others impacted by its regulatory decisions have no voice in decisions affecting them. We plan to continue to fight this prejudiced attempt to shut down this useful market,” Mason said.

Press inquiries should be directed to press@aristotle.com.

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