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August 7, 2014

The CFTC charged Edwin A. Vasquez and his company Vasquez Global Investments with misappropriation, solicitation fraud, and issuing false statements in connection with the operation of an unregistered commodity trading pool.  According to the CFTC Complaint, Vasquez and his company defrauded and deceived at least 19 participants who invested at least $583,491 in a commodity pool commonly known as the VGI pool.  CFTC

August 7, 2014

The CFTC obtained an order against Florida residents John P. D’Onofrio, George E. Sarafianos, Scott D. Piccininni and their Florida companyAmeriFirst Management to jointly pay more than $25M in restitution and a $10M penalty for operating a fraudulent precious metals scheme.  Specifically, the order found the defendants operated an illegal, off-exchange precious metals scheme and made numerous fraudulent misrepresentations, false reports, and statements in connection with the scheme.  CFTC

August 7, 2014

Florida resident Lawrence Scott Spain and his company Palm Beach Capital were ordered to pay $527,000 for engaging in illegal, off-exchange precious metals transactions.  The order stems from a CFTC Complaint filed in May 2014 charging Spain and his company with violating the Commodity Exchange Act by these illegal transactions.  CFTC

August 4, 2014

The CFTC obtained a $13M penalty against Parnon Energy of California, Arcadia Petroleum of the United Kingdom, and Arcadia Energy of Switzerland for manipulating New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) Light Sweet Crude Oil futures contract spreads from January 2008 to April 2008.  CFTC

August 4, 2014

The CFTC obtained a $500,000 judgment against former Citigroup Director John Aaron Brooks for defrauding Citigroup by mismarking and inflating the value of his position in ethanol futures in Citigroup's proprietary account.  Specifically, the court found Brooks cheated and defrauded Citigroup by inflating and mismarking the value of his position in New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) Chicago Ethanol (Platts) Futures contracts by misrepresenting his profits and losses and offsetting and masking the losses in his other futures positions.  By this conduct, Brooks violated the anti-fraud provisions of the Commodities Exchange Act (CEA) and a CFTC Regulation.  CFTC

August 1, 2014

The CFTC filed a civil enforcement Complaint against Southern Trust Metals, Robert Escobio and Loreley Overseas Corp. charging them with violating the Dodd-Frank Act by operating an illegal, off-exchange precious metals scheme involving at least 135 customers who collectively lost $600,000 of the funds they invested.  CFTC

July 29, 2014

JP Morgan Securities, a wholly-owned subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co., agreed to pay $650,000 to settle CFTC charges of submitting inaccurate reports to the CFTC relating to the required reporting of positions held by certain large traders whose accounts are carried by JPMS.  The reports are known as “large trader” reports and are used by the CFTC to evaluate potential market risks and monitor compliance with CFTC requirements.  The reporting violations occurred despite the CFTC notifying JPMS of numerous errors in its reports.  CFTC

July 28, 2014

The CFTC issued an Order against Lloyds Banking Group and Lloyds Bank for false reporting and attempted manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) for Sterling, U.S. Dollar, and Yen. The CFTC also brought and settled charges that Lloyds aided and abetted the attempts of derivatives traders at Rabobank to manipulate Yen LIBOR.  The Order requires Lloyds Banking Group and Lloyds Bank to pay a $105M civil monetary penalty, cease and desist from their violations of the Commodity Exchange Act, and to adhere to specific undertakings to ensure the integrity of LIBOR submissions in the future.  CFTC

July 18, 2014

The CFTC filed an amended Complaint against Missouri resident Daniel K. Steele and his firm Champion Management International charging them with misappropriation, issuance of false account statements, and other acts of fraudulent solicitation and concealment relating to their solicitation of investments in foreign currency (forex) pools.  The amended Complaint follows a CFTC complaint against them filed in September 2013.  The amended Complaint further alleges that Steele knowingly made material misrepresentations to actual and prospective pool participants concerning Defendants’ forex trading and trading results.  The amended Complaint also alleges that Steele concealed trading losses, misappropriated approximately $1 million of pool participants’ funds for personal use, and issued false account statements to pool participants reflecting that they were earning profits when instead Steele was misappropriating the majority of their funds, all in violation of Section 4b of the Commodities Exchange Act.  CFTC

June 19, 2014

The CFTC obtained a court Order requiring Texas resident Robert J. Andres and his company Winsome Investment Trust and California resident Robert L. Holloway and his company US Ventures LC to pay a civil penalty of $32M and restitution for defrauded customers totaling $12M for their fraud in the operation of a commodity futures pool.  Specifically, the Order found that the defendants fraudulently solicited and accepted at least $50M from at least 243 individuals to invest in a commodity futures pool by falsely claiming successful track record and guaranteeing the return of participants’ principal and profits.  In reality, however, their futures trading was not successful, sustaining overall net losses of approximately $10.7 million and they operated it like a Ponzi scheme and used participants' funds to pay personal and unrelated business expenses, and to pay for houses, cars, home furnishings, jewelry, lawn and maid services, and credit card bills.  In parallel criminal actions, Andres and Holloway were indicted on multiple counts of wire fraud.  CFTC
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