page title icon Husband of SurgeTrader CEO Involved in Alleged Ponzi Scheme – Prop Trading News

January 23, 2024

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August 14, 2023

Welcome! As the summer winds down, I’m getting back on a more regular prop firm newsletter schedule. And wouldn’t you know it, not a whole lot happened this last week. One prop firm in particular has had some interesting recent developments, however.

SurgeTrader announces $1 million account giveaway

Wow! That’s quite a prize. That’s a $6,500 value, and, of course, the chance to trade a $1 million worth of SurgeTrader’s capital and keep 75% of the profits! That could easily jumpstart anyone’s trading career. 

Of course there is a little song and dance you have to do in order to qualify, but it’s a small price to pay for the chance at an account that big. To qualify you must: follow them on instagram, tag your “trading mentor,” join their Discord and register on their website. Five mindless minutes of work, and you could be in the big time. The winner will be announced on August 20.

That’s amazing news, and a worthy headline, but wasn’t SurgeTrader in the news for something else recently?

SurgeTrader announces their support of Solidarity with Veterans Integration Center of Alberqueque New Mexico

According to an article published by Yahoo!Finance, Jana Seaman, SurgeTrader’s CEO made a contribution to the Solidarity with Veterans Integration Group and issued a press release about her contribution. Jana said, “We aim to raise awareness and provide critical resources to those who have valiantly served our country. We invite everyone to join us in our commitment to making a positive impact.”

That’s great, and as loyal readers would know, SurgeTrader and Seaman have been frequently mentioned in this newsletter to congratulate them for their many acts of charity. I’m always happy to shine a light on prop firms that are helping their communities, although it seems like I heard something else about Seaman and SurgeTrader in the last week or so.

Oh that’s right…

SurgeTrader’s CEO’s husband charged with running a Ponzi scheme

There it is. That’s the big news SurgeTrader would prefer we bury, but unfortunately the news has made it around the world, even drawing a lot of ink from the Daily News in the UK. I’d be remiss if I didn’t share it here.

It brings me no pleasure to relay the alleged misdoings of Jana Seaman’s husband, Brent. The SEC believes Brent conned his way into the pockets of his fellow church goers by guaranteeing substantial rates of return from his currency trading operations. Instead, he was losing large sums while using at least some of the money to build a life of luxury which he gleefully documented on social media.

At least some of the money was used to pay off his earlier investors, which is why the term Ponzi was attached to this case and screamed in all of the headlines. More relevant to us in the prop trading world, however, is the fact that some of the money was also apparently given to entities connected to SurgeTrader – VALO Holdings Group and Surge Capital Ventures LLC.

Neither Brent nor Jana has admitted any guilt, but Jana and VALO Holdings, which is described on SurgeTrader’s website as a “partner” of SurgeTrader, have agreed to some very substantial disgorgements. As part of the deal with the SEC, Jana will pay $757,154 and VALO Holdings Group will pay $668,240.

How do the SEC charges affect SurgeTrader? Seemingly not at all. SurgeTrader is conducting business as usual, albeit with a few more distracting giveaways and press releases touting their charitable acts. In fact, as far as I can tell, no one at SurgeTrader, including Jana, has mentioned the charges on any of their social media platforms or in the press. I guess they’re just hoping it will all quietly disappear from the news cycle, which it more or less already has.

That’s understandable. The last thing they want is to further publicize the allegations and risk a bank run in which their current traders cash out and new traders hesitate to sign up. That can be a death spiral for even the most well-capitalized prop firms, and no one wins when that happens – not the traders, not the firm, not the firm’s employees. 

Still, I’d like to see SurgeTrader directly address the allegations. In one sense this is guilt by association – the CEO’s spouse, Brent, is the one who seemingly bears most, if not all of the guilt. But SurgeTrader’s partner VALO Holdings directly benefited from the alleged scheme as well. So how much capital did SurgeTrader get from Brent’s companies? How closely tied are SurgeTrader’s financials to those of VALO Holdings? Does VALO Holdings have enough capital to absorb a disgorgement of $668,240 and stay solvent? 

We probably won’t get direct answers to these questions any time soon. Only time may tell. Personally, I’m taking a wait-and-see approach in my SurgeTrader assessment. For now, I’m keeping SurgeTrader in my Best Prop Trading Firms list, but moving them down to the last spot.  

I hope this all gets sorted out for everyone, particularly the alleged victims, and I’d like to think Jana is trying to make things right by already agreeing to pay back the portion of the funds that went to her and her venture capital company. And I hope SurgeTrader continues to fund traders for years to come.

Fidelcrest announces unlimited trading days

If you missed last week’s prop firm newsletter, just about every prop firm in our little dimension of the multiverse eliminated time limits. That means traders have unlimited time to reach their profit targets. Fidelcrest also got in the act this past week, but since they’re Fidelcrest they offered a little wrinkle.

Fidelcrest loves giving traders options. They offer a number of account options including Pro Trader Normal, Pro Trader Aggressive, Micro Trader Normal, Micro Trader Aggressive, etc. The options don’t stop there, as they often let you pick your own promo. To wit, Fidelcrest now allows traders to choose between unlimited trading days, or you can accept a 60-day time limit but get unlimited retries if you stay under a 2% drawdown. Choose wisely. Fidelcrest is not for the indecisive. 

Topstep reopens to new traders

You all know by now how much I love Topstep. When they announced they were temporarily cutting prices by up to 70%, I thought it was the best prop firm deal I’d ever seen. Seems like a lot of traders shared that opinion as Topstep opened so many new accounts they had to close the gates to new traders for a bit.

While they dealt with the new trader backlog, they offered traders a chance to join a waitlist and lock in the current insanely good rates. I encouraged you to do so, and I hope you did, because as of this Monday, Topstep opened up to waitlisted traders and gave them a free reset to reward them for their patience. Topstep always, always, does right by their traders. That’s why they’re my #1 prop firm.

Word is they’ll be opening up to everyone again soon, but it still lock in the insanely good rate now by signing up for Topstep this week.

Economic calendar for the week of August 14

Another pretty quiet week, in fact, why don’t you just take Monday off, or not. But I do want to take a moment to remind you that sometimes a trader’s best strategy is just to sit out a session. Don’t force your hand. 

Late Monday night – if you’re in the US – China announces their industrial production, and American night owl traders might see some action late Tuesday night with the NZD/USD as the Reserve Bank of New Zealand announces interest rates. The UK will release CPI data about 2:00 AM EST on Wednesday. 

Not a whole lot of news coming out of the US. On Tuesday some retail sales data will be released, and the FOMC will release minutes from its meetings on Wednesday at 2pm EST.

I’m always looking at different economic calendars, but one of my favorites is the economic calendar at It is really easy to filter and manipulate, also includes explanations for beginning traders, and doesn’t require a account.

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