This report is related to the Ripoff Report I filed against OptionsXpress entitled "OptionsXpress Online Options, Stock, And Futures Brokers -- How To Rob Your Customers Without Any Legal Repercussions," but I believe that it warrants its own Ripoff Report because OptionsXpress' Management has chosen to commit another offense in its efforts to cover up the embezzlement they perpetrated against me.
I followed the Ripoff Report site guidelines, and decided to give OptionsXpress' Management one last chance to come clean in this matter by returning the $10,400 they defrauded me of in return for abstaining from taking any further action against them, and updating my prior Ripoff Report against them so that their public reputation would not suffer as a result of my complaint against them on the Ripoff Site.
Rather than rectifying the embezzlement committed against me, I received an e-mail from OptionsXpress' attorney responding on behalf of the Company's Management where he threatens me with a spurious libel suit in contravention my First Amendment Right of Free Speech for making my complaint against OptionsXpress public on consumer reporting news agencies like the Ripoff Report and various investing and trading forums.
Apparently, OptionsXpress lawyer and management believe that I never saw the inside of the court room, and that I am going to be cowed into silence by the threat of or an actual frivolous suit. However, to prove libel or anything else they have to have proof, and it is their own documentation and reports which I have in my possession that point to their guilt in the crime of embezzlement, and corroborate the facts as I stated them in my complaint against OptionsXpress so I welcome them to file their spurious and frivolous libel suit against me.
Consequently, as I write this Ripoff Report I have now filed a complaint with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) against OptionsXpress Management and I have also posted my complaint against OptionsXpress on the Complaints.com site.
Below is a copy of the e-mail where I gave OptionsXpress one last chance to redress this matter, their response e-mail to it, and my response to this last OptionsXpress e-mail.
Date: March 29, 2008
Subject: Last Chance Officers of OptionsXpress to Return the $10,400 Cash You Stole from Me or Face Positive and Natural Law Consequences
New York, NY
March 29, 2008
Mr. Ned Bennett, Executive Vice Chairman and Previous CEO of OptionsXpress
Mr. Peter Bottini, Executive Vice President of OptionsXpress
Mr. Philip Bennett, Executive Vice President of OptionsXpress
OptionsXpress Online Options, Stock & Futures Brokers
311 W. Monroe Street, Suite 1000
Chicago, Illinois 60606
Re: Very Late SPX Contingent Order Activation on 01/22/08 apparently(?) by OptionsXpress System Irregularity
There is no point in hashing this matter out again. We did that already through 23 e-mails so we both know where things stand in regard to this issue.
I have decided to give you one last chance to return the $10,400 you defrauded me of before I stop playing around, and seriously pursue you on a protracted basis if I may take the liberty of piercing of OptionsXpress' corporate veil by making complaints with the SEC, FINRA, NASD, Illinois Attorney General's Office, FTC, etc., and make this fraud public on complaint sites, and on various investing and trading forums so it will be common knowledge from one end of the Internet to the other.
I have the OptionsXpress e-mails regarding this matter, and other OptionsXpress records to substantiate this complaint against OptionsXpress, and I have absolutely no qualms in releasing this information to the various investing and trading forums, government agencies, securities regulating bodies, and sundry complaint sites.
To prove to you that I mean what say, contact your lackeys at Optionetics and ask them about the posts I made on their broker forum from March 2, 2008 to March 14, 2008. The topic was titled "OptionsXpress Contingent Order Fiasco," and contained similar information to the complaint I made against OptionsXpress at the Ripoff Report site which I appended at the end of this e-mail, and is available online at http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/317/RipOff0317814.htm You had at least one shill there as well so he should have filled you in. He infuriated me by repeating your sophistries, and as I was about to release the e-mails on this matter, as a result of his baiting, indicating your deceit the Optionetics sycophants came to your aid, and deleted every post I made. But not before something like 350 different pairs of eyes saw this heated controversy.
Should your shill or shills have engaged me in the first place? People just love to come out and observe when two sides are fighting. On the other hand, to leave my post unchallenged would have also been bad for you guys as the officers of OptionsXpress. You have a dilemma here which you can easily solve by returning the $10,400 you stole from me.
How much do you figure this airing of dirty laundry had an effect on your reputation in the eyes of OptionsXpress traders or potential OptionsXpress traders, and the actual dollar loss in potential OptionsXpress traders deciding to choose another broker after reading how OptionsXpress cheated one of its active traders of six years, as well as current OptionsXpress traders after reading this topic and fearing that what happened to me may happen to them as well so maybe they should start looking for another broker?
You guys can't do what you did to me without taking a hit that will be several multiples of the $10,400 once this complaint is spread far and wide even if OptionsXpress has the nicest, most user-friendly, intuitive graphical user interface, and a host of other bells and whistles that make trading easy and pleasant. If you lose the trust of your customers it is all for naught. And don't forget that I am not the only guy out there that has a gripe against OptionsXpress so once my complaints against OptionsXpress start to appear all the over the place you may experience a chain reaction of complaints against OptionsXpress as is the case with Optionetics so that they are well known in the options community as options scam artists.
What happened at Optionetics is now water under the bridge, but I have the ability to update the OptionsXpress Ripoff Report, and state that after some hesitation you did return the $10,400 to me so you will salvage your reputation there as well as on the Web (google "OptionsXpress Online").
If I don't receive a positive reply from you by Monday, March 31, 2008, I will assume that you are steadfast in this theft, and initiate further actions against OptionsXpress as stated above to prove to you that committing monetary crimes against certain people is a very poor business decision.
Date: Friday, April 04, 2008 4:32 PM
Subject: Response to your Request
I am responding to your request below on behalf of the Company and the recipients of your email.
Your email alleges a theft (that we "stole from" you) and states other opinions and purports to convey facts about the situation, all of which we absolutely disagree with, and we remain shocked and disappointed at your approach.
We have promptly reviewed and thoughtfully responded to each of the issues and concerns raised by you in a fair and proper manner. While we understand that you disagree, we are not amenable to reimbursing you for your losses caused by your self-directed trades executed through our system to the marketplace.
We absolutely disagree with your statement of the issues. We point out that your allegations and narratives are inflammatory, not factual, and we reserve the right to seek responsive action against you if your claims are frivolous, spurious or contain erroneous and libelous statements among other harms. Your approach appears to be one of groundless intimidation through your public rhetoric seeking to extort funds to which you are not entitled. We are surprised that you have chosen this approach after years of amicable commerce and communications and the potential to chose more constructive means to resolve a technical disagreement.
However, you do have the opportunity, instead of allegation of a "rip-off," which it is not, to pursue recourse through www.finra.org arbitration or mediation as detailed in your customer agreement.
Chief Compliance Officer
Date: Saturday, April 05, 2008 5:48 AM
Subject Re: OptionsXpress Management $10,400 Misappropriation from Bernard Laufer's Account
----- Original Message -----
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Friday, April 04, 2008 4:32 PM
Subject: Response to your Request
I am responding to your request below on behalf of the Company and the recipients of your email.>
I didn't request a general response from you or anybody else from OptionsXpress. I clearly stated that if I don't receive a positive reply by Monday, March 31, 2008, I will assume that you (OptionsXpress' Management) are steadfast in this theft, and initiate further actions against OptionsXpress to prove to you that committing monetary crimes against certain people is a very poor business decision.
We have promptly reviewed and thoughtfully responded to each of the issues and concerns raised by you in a fair and proper manner.>
This matter called for no fair and proper responses by Phil Bennett, Joshua Gray, Peter Bottini, David Kalt, or Ned Bennett -- just the return of my cash. It is self evident to any group of proficient impartial traders on the SPX that my account was improperly charged for at least $10,400 due to a late contingent order activation by OptionsXpress as amply detailed in the 23 prior e-mails on this matter, and based on the guarantee I was given by Philip Bennett almost 6 years ago I should have been reimbursed for this amount. Failure to reimburse me for this amount in view of this guarantee constitutes theft by OptionsXpress and defacto embezzlement by Philip Bennett.
My trades are not self-directed if they are not executed the way that I requested that they be executed. OptionsXpress executed my put bull spread contingent Market order to close almost 24 points past its trigger point on the SPX or while the SPX lost another 1.8% of its value so that trade was certainly not self-directed.
How can I extort something that belongs to me counsel? It seems to me Mr. Ben Morof as OptionsXpress counsel that you are threatening me here with legal action if I make use of my First Amendment rights to obtain the return of cash that was stolen from me by OptionsXpress or let others know based on my experience that OptionsXpress is not worthy of the customers trust. May I remind you counsel that you are in a highly regulated industry, and trying to intimidate your customers or your ex-customers from making legitimate complaints against OptionsXpress as they see fit can land you and OptionsXpress in a great deal of hot water.
I guess Ben you don't consider having discussions with Phil Bennett, Joshua Gray, and Peter Bottini over 23 e-mails (and notifying Ned Bennett and David Kalt of a serious problem here) a sufficient effort on my part to resolve this monetary disagreement in an amicable fashion. I lost 40K on 1/17/08 and 1/22/08 outside of the 10.4K loss that I charge OptionsXpress of unlawfully making me responsible for. Going further back, I lost 28.5K loss for March 2007, and a 62.5K loss for May and June 2006 so you can see that I am used to taking losses much more significant than the 10.4K loss that I have as a result of this OptionsXpress' misappropriation, but I'll be damned if I pick up my broker's loss in view of the guarantee that I had or barring a return of that cash let my broker enjoy these ill gotten gains.
Ben you are counsel for OptionsXpress, and you represent OptionsXpress management -- the people that I hold responsible for swindling me out of $10,400. How is it then Ben that you are giving me advice as to what course I may or I may not take to get justice in this matter? One may get the idea that you are running afoul of the ABA Rules of Professional Conduct by seemingly serving as counsel at the same time to two opposing sides in a legal controversy.
New York, New York