11/27/2012 : INTRADE TARGETED BY US AUTHORITIES
US residents urged to close accounts and initiate withdrawal process
Dublin-based online trading exchange website Intrade is in the hot seat with a civil complaint filed in a U.S. Federal District Court against it by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
According to the civil suit, it is alleged that the companies The Prediction Market Limited (Intrade) and Trade Exchange Network Limited (TEN) "solicited, accepted, and confirmed the execution of orders from U.S. customers which violated the CFTC's ban on off-exchange options trading.
Additionally, Intrade and TEN are charged with making false statements in documents filed with the CFTC, the commission said in a statement.
The online trading exchange website provides betting on the outcome of non-sports markets that cover anything from politics to finance, entertainment, transportation, legal, weather, culture or politics and is broadly described as a prediction market which proved to be a popular choice for U.S. punters during the recent 2012 presidential race.
Following news of the civil complaint, Intrade said in a post on its website that it would exit the U.S. market due to legal and regulatory pressures, urging U.S. residents to complete the process of closing down their Intrade accounts by December 23, 2012.
"If this is not done by the deadline noted above, Intrade will close out your predictions for you at what we consider to be fair market value as of the daily session close of December 23, 2012", said the statement.
Further Intrade will waive its normal $20 bank wire withdrawal fee to facilitate ease and speed of customer withdrawals on account closures.
The statement ended off saying "We understand this announcement may come as a surprise and a disappointment, and we apologize for the short notice and haste required to deal with this. We would like to sincerely thank all US customers for their custom, support and loyalty over the years."
Intrade's income is derived from a $4.99 monthly fee, payment transaction fees and a $5 inactivity fee for accounts dormant over 18 months.