The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable David O. Carter, Judge
[I hereby certify that this document was served by first class mail or Government messenger service, postage prepaid, to all counsel (or parties) at their respective most recent address of record in this action on this date.]
Date:____________ Deputy Clerk:
Julie Barrera Not Present Courtroom Clerk Court Reporter
ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR PLAINTIFFS: ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR DEFENDANTS: NONE PRESENT NONE PRESENT
PROCEEDING (IN CHAMBERS): GRANTING THE NASSBRIDGES' MOTION TO VACATE AND SET ASIDE THE DEFAULT ENTRY BY THE CLERK AND DENYING THE NASSBRIDGES' MOTION TO RECONSIDER APPLICATION FOR COURT TO APPOINT AN ATTORNEY
Before the Court is Defendant Ryan A. Nassbridges' ("R. Nassbridges") and Relief Defendant Bita J. Nassbridges' ("B. Nassbridges") (jointly, the "Nassbridges") Motion to Vacate and Set Aside the Default Entry by the Clerk ("Motion to Vacate") and the Nassbridges' Motion to Reconsider Application for Court to Appoint an Attorney ("Motion to Reconsider") (Dockets 81 and 85, respectively). The court finds these matters appropriate for decision without oral argument.
Fed.R.Civ. P. 78; Local Rule 7-15. After considering the moving, opposing*fn1 , and replying papers, the Court GRANTS Defendants' Motion to Vacate and DENIES Defendants' Motion to Reconsider.
Accordingly, the hearings set for October 24, 2011 at 8:30 a.m. and October 31, 2011 at 8:30 a.m. are removed from the calendar.
The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission ("Plaintiff") alleges that R. Nassbridges, American Bullion Exchange ABEX, Corp., and American Bullion Exchange, LLC (collectively, "Defendants") "fraudulently operated a commodity pool and defrauded at least 80 individuals of approximately $5.5 million." Complaint, ¶ 2. Defendants allegedly "solicited funds from individuals for the represented purpose of investing in gold bullion, palladium bullion, gold coins and silver coins," but instead used investors' funds to trade commodity futures and options. Id. Plaintiff contends that Defendants sustained overall net trading losses of approximately $2.2 million without disclosing such losses to the investors. Id. at ¶ 3. Additionally, Defendants, through R. Nassbridges, allegedly misappropriated investors' funds by transferring investors' funds into the Nassbridges' personal bank account. Id. at ¶ 5. Furthermore, to conceal the allegedly fraudulent operations and misappropriation, R. Nassbridges allegedly provided false and misleading testimony to Id. at ¶ 7.
In light of the alleged wrongdoing, Plaintiff filed a Complaint with this Court on December 8, 2010, alleging various violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and Commission Regulations, including (1) fraud by fraudulent solicitation, misappropriation and failure to disclose trading and losses (both futures and options); (2) fraud as a commodity pool operator; (3) failure to register as a commodity pool operator; (4) ...