Prop firm Funded Engineer faces lawsuit from FPFX

Retail trading tech provider FPFX Technologies, LLC (FPFX Tech), has filed a lawsuit against the prop firm Funded Engineer and its associated operatives for alleged breaches of contract.

Tristian Talbot, from Thailand, and Harri Jean David Sawicki, residing in Vietnam, allegedly control Funded Engineer and its website, which are central to the dispute. The legal proceedings are set to unfold in Palm Beach County, Florida, where the original agreement stipulated any disputes should be litigated.

FPFX’s complaint details that under a software services agreement dated June 2, 2023, the defendants were granted rights to use FPFX’s software. They were supposed to pay monthly fees and other amounts stipulated in the agreement. However, a January 2024 audit by FPFX revealed alleged record manipulation by the defendants, intended to reduce payments owed under the agreement. This included creating fake trading accounts and engaging in “wash trading,” practices that led to FPFX losing an estimated $700,000 in revenue.

In response to what FPFx labels as “nefarious, illegal and unethical activities”, the vendor terminated the agreement on February 7, 2024. A demand for mediation was made by FPFX in March, in line with the contract’s terms to resolve the dispute.

FPFX and Funded Engineer did not respond immediately to a FinanceFeeds request for comment.

Earlier in February, FPFX Technologies told FinanceFeeds that their audit unveiled what the vendor alleges to be “a months-long scheme” by Funded Engineer to deceive both FPFX Tech and the public by inflating payout figures through illicit activities.

The probe identified several fraudulent actions conducted by Funded Engineer, including the creation of fake trading accounts, bypassing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) protocols, engaging in wash trading, and generating fictitious payouts. These activities were purportedly designed to overstate the firm’s payment activities, thus misleading traders and FPFX Tech alike.

Specific findings from the audit revealed that Funded Engineer manually created what seemed to be fake user profiles in their administrative portal. These profiles, lacking any payment history or billing details, were directly provided with funded accounts, circumventing the firm’s usual requirement for traders to complete a challenge before obtaining such accounts.

Further infractions included the manual overriding of AML/KYC checks, allowing these “individuals” to be approved for funded accounts without the standard due diligence. Additionally, Funded Engineer’s personnel were found to have conducted wash trading—a practice where trades are made without economic substance but to create misleading activity—purely to inflate the firm’s payout statistics.

The audit also discovered that despite approving payouts in the system, Funded Engineer did not actually disburse any funds to these fictitious accounts. Instead, the prop firm pretended to make payments through cryptocurrency wallets and global payroll services without any corresponding blockchain transactions.

FPFX Tech’s probe concluded that Funded Engineer had overstated its payouts by more than $2 million, a fact promoted by one of its founders, Tristian Talbot, on social media.

In the wake of FPFX’s decision to terminate its licensing agreement, Funded Engineer issued a series of updates addressing the situation.

The firm was disappointed over the abrupt termination and the subsequent negative public relations campaign launched by FPFX Tech, pointing out that this was done without warning or an opportunity for dialogue.

Funded Engineer said it was surprised and concerned over how their services were ended and how they were removed from all past communications by FPFX Tech. The firm criticized the lack of communication prior to the action and the negative PR campaign that followed, adding that they were not approached for comment on the allegations.

Regarding the allegations, Funded Engineer stated that the matter has become a legal case, limiting their ability to share further details publicly. However, the firm assured its community that it is treating the situation with the utmost seriousness.