It has been quite a year for self-proclaimed trading expert Jacob Wohl. After being featured in numerous news reports and starting the year claiming to open offices in China, as well as being banned for life from membership in the National Futures Association and being found guilty of investment fraud in Arizona, Wohl has notched another achievement, however dubious. He won an online vote for “Financial Charlatan of the Year” Wednesday.
Wohl forgoes college to become a hedge fund guru
To win the four-year-old contest run by the @FedSpeak Twitter handle, Wohl garnered 15.5% of the vote and powered past hedge fund manager and author James Altucher’s 13.8% of the unscientific vote that allowed people to vote multiple times.
Wohl’s life has gotten exceedingly complex for someone still in his teenage years. Instead of attending college after he graduated from Santiago High School in Corona, California, Wohl began trading other people’s money and promoting it through numerous media appearances.
ValueWalk first discovered the hedge fund savant in 2015 and we asked then in a headline: “Is Regulatory Trouble Ahead?”
That regulatory trouble would come, but it would take his switching from an equity strategy to managed futures – “moving from milk to tequila and eating the worm for protein” – before the predicted regulatory pressure would heat up.
So how did Wohl go from high school jock to “Financial Charlatan of the Year?
Wohl’s regulatory problems started when he moved into managed futures and met the National Futures Association
After he switched to managed futures, an investment tightly regulated by the National Futures Association, Wohl began advertising a Sharpe ratio of over 7 and posted promotional videos on YouTube where, among other things, he advertised a “director of fun” would entertain clients in his Laurel Canyon house.
A complaint from James Dawson would lead Wohl to get on the NFA radar, with Wohl reported to be using “Instagram models” to attend financial conferences in order to attract unsuspecting investors to plow money into his strategy.
Once he started to attract client capital is where Wohl began to walk on thin ice. When one investor complained to have been fleeced by Wohl, NFA regulators quickly dispatched an investigative team to conduct a surprise inspection of Wohl’s operation. A cat and mouse game ensued, with the inspectors not being given access to conduct their audit of the firm. Wohl’s father would later call the regulatory investigators “thugs” for their work ratcheting up pressure when customer segregated funds were perceived at risk. “I would never start a business in Chicago,” Wohl tweeted. “That city (where the NFA is headquartered) has a thuggish shakedown culture like no other.”
Wohl would later be banned for life by the NFA in March of 2017, but this didn’t end his regulatory entanglements.
Wohl continued to advertise for investors to purchase shares in various securities, including in the state of Arizona, where he was not licensed to do so. After an undercover operation by Arizona regulators revealed the plan, in which investors lost money in unexplained fashion. Wohl received a cease and desist letter along with multiple fraud charges.
He later agreed to settle charges of “Fraud in Connection with the Offer or Sale of Securities,” where the Arizona Corporation Commission stated that he “misled” investors. In October 2017, he was ordered to pay the fine but didn’t have the money at the time to do so.
He has since launched an “Offended America” podcast where he opines on various political topics, advocating right-wing causes.
Just a few months ago Krosscoin (KSS) described itself as follows:
Waves based Krosscoin is the first church solutions focused coin. Development will include products for churches, charity organizations and the secular market. Krosscoin is traded on the Waves Decentralized Exchange (Krosscoin/Waves). Krosscoin is a non -ICO (Initial Coin Offering) token and it has a total supply of One billion Krosscoins.
KSS introduces a consumption-based token framework that allows application developers to monetize any functional component, in any application, running on any platform. A consumption-based monetization model removes the adoption obstacles inherent in one-time fee and subscription licensing, thus freeing the developer to focus on application functionality. With KSS, monetization increases alongside usage, incentivizing application developers to create a compelling user experience.
Interesting, to say the least….