Tue, May 26, 2015
A A A
Welcome Guest
Free Trial RSS
Get FREE trial access to our award winning publications
Opalesque Futures Intelligence

Regulators: A big spate of lawsuits and other actions against foreign exchange trading firms.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Numerous Charges Against Forex Firms

In past few weeks the Commodity Futures Trading Commission took action against a significant number of operators in the foreign currency market. This is a continuing trend. In recent years the regulator investigated and often brought charges against forex businesses and repeatedly warned that there has been a sharp rise in scams in this area.

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act gave the CFTC additional powers to regulate foreign exchange dealers. On the basis of new rules that require forex dealers to protect investors, in late January the agency started 13 lawsuits against 14 entities, accusing them of operating without being registered with the CFTC and illegally soliciting money from the public for forex investments.

In separate actions, the regulator got court orders freezing the assets and records of several forex managers, brought new fraud charges and obtained a restitution order in an ongoing case.

Some of the accusations are about relatively small sums of money. Thus two residents of North Carolina and their company, PMC Strategy LLC, were charged with fraudulently soliciting $669,000 for foreign exchange trading accounts. They allegedly lost about $300,000, concealed the losses, used $151,000 to pay customers phantom returns and took some $129,000 for their personal use.

But other forex cases involve many millions of dollars.

Sky Diving and Divine Stewardship

A group of people from Ohio and North Carolina are accused of a $35 million Ponzi scheme. Among the charges are the misuse of customer funds to start side businesses and finance maid services, cars, real estate and lavish trips such as a sky diving holiday.

The CFTC says the defendants solicited money from at least 240 individuals to invest in off-exchange forex through the Black Diamond trading platform, which, however, did not exist. They issued monthly statements showing large but fictitious profits and used some of the funds to pay the supposed profits to customers.

A court froze the assets of this group- Keith Simmons, Deanna Salazar, Bryan Coats, Jonathan Davey and various companies they controlled, including Black Diamond Capital Solutions LLC, Safe Harbor Ventures Inc., Safe Harbor Wealth Investments Inc., and Divine Stewardship LLC.

The US. Attorney's Office for the Western District of North Carolina has brought criminal charges against some of the individuals. Mr. Simmons was convicted of securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering and Ms. Salazar pleaded guilty to fraud conspiracy and tax evasion.

Septuagenarian Accused

In another case 70-year-old Larry Benny Groover of Texas was charged with fraudulently raising $1.4 million to trade forex. He was never registered with the CFTC and had served time in prison after being convicted of securities fraud in 1991.

The complaint says he traded with a portion of the capital, lost most of this and issued false account statements to at least one customer, showing profits though he had lost nearly all of that customer's money. In addition, he allegedly misappropriated more than $750,000 from at least 22 customers.

The misappropriated money was spent on personal expenses such as medical care, groceries, dining, cable television, auto repairs, gasoline and insurance, as well as to purchase software and trade publications and make payments to Mr. Groover and his wife.

Separately, Anthony Eugene Linton of Arizona faces charges of fraud and misappropriation of customer money in a Ponzi scheme involving off-exchange forex trading. He allegedly raised at least $650,000, telling people that they would make 100% a year on their investments and there were no risks in trading foreign currency through his Private Trading Pool.

Also, in January a federal judge ordered the defendants to pay more than $4 million in restitution and penalties in a case the CFTC filed more than a year ago against Beau Diamond and Diamond Ventures LLC of Florida for operating a forex scam. This scheme took in $37 million from 200 customers.



 
This article was published in Opalesque Futures Intelligence.
Opalesque Futures Intelligence
Opalesque Futures Intelligence
Opalesque Futures Intelligence
Today's Exclusives Today's Other Voices More Exclusives
Previous Opalesque Exclusives                                  
More Other Voices
Previous Other Voices                                               
Access Alternative Market Briefing


  • Top Forwarded
  • Top Tracked
  • Top Searched
  1. Comment - Top hedge fund managers talk about how easy their jobs have gotten, BlackRock to Schroders warn of Argentina’s $20bn bond glut, The 35-year “investment supercycle” is drawing to a close, says Bill Gross, Gundlach: When the Fed starts hiking rates, 'GET OUT' of this asset class[more]

    Top hedge fund managers talk about how easy their jobs have gotten From Businessinsider.com.au: Time was, before the financial crisis hit, corporate boards treated multi-billion dollar hedge fund managers like Jehovah’s Witnesses pounding on their doors and flashing bibles. But no more.

  2. T Rowe's challenge to Dell deal may fuel critics of 'appraisal'[more]

    From Reuters.com: An increasingly popular tactic used by hedge funds and others to extract more money from buyouts could soon face a major courtroom test when a big investor in Dell Inc may argue that it should be paid a higher price for the 2013 acquisition of the PC maker. The strategy, known as "

  3. News Briefs - Ergen says LightSquared plan unfairly favors hedge funds, Why hedge fund managers make good advisory clients, I learned a lot about dad-bros after spending 4 days in Vegas with 2,000 hedge funders[more]

    Ergen says LightSquared plan unfairly favors hedge funds LightSquared Inc.’s bankruptcy plan gives hedge funds that invested in the broadband company a leg up while blocking telecommunications firms from competing with it, a fund owned by Dish Network Corp. Chairman Charles Ergen said in

  4. Opalesque Exclusive: SEC approves proposed changes to Form ADV, '40 Act - comment period to follow[more]

    Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York: Hedge funds and providers of liquid alternatives will want to pay close attention to proposed reforms approved by the SEC yesterday. The changes will require more frequent reporting, as well as a closer look into social media, liquid alternative strategies, and

  5. Opalesque Exclusive: Ovation Partners targets opportunities where few "natural lenders" participate[more]

    Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva for New Managers: Changes in financial regulations post-2008 (Dodd-Frank and Basel III) are forcing banks to significantly alter their core lending businesses. And as mid-sized

banner