For Release: June 13, 2006
Washington, D.C.— The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today the issuance of an order filing and simultaneously settling charges against Michael J. Liskiewicz of Duluth, Minnesota. The CFTC order finds that Liskiewicz, while unlawfully acting as an unregistered commodity pool operator, engaged in fraud by misappropriating customer funds and issuing false account statements, and violated the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations related to his operation of a commodity pool.
According to the CFTC’s order, Liskiewicz, who has never been registered with the CFTC in any capacity, solicited and pooled approximately $193,000 from nine investors to trade in S&P futures contracts. Liskiewicz misappropriated a portion of the pool participants’ funds for his personal use and lost the remaining funds in unprofitable trading, according to the order. Liskiewicz fraudulently concealed his conduct from the pool participants by issuing false account statements showing healthy profits from futures trading, the order finds.
The order further finds that Liskiewicz failed to operate his commodity pool as a legal entity separate from himself, commingled pool participants’ funds with his personal funds, and failed to provide required disclosure documents to the pool participants.
Liskiewicz consented to the entry of the order that requires him to cease and desist from further violations of the CEA; orders him to pay a civil monetary penalty of $240,000; and permanently bans him from trading commodity futures or options for others, and from seeking registration, claiming exemption from registration, or acting in any capacity requiring registration or exemption from registration.
The following Division of Enforcement staff members were responsible for this action: James Holl, III, Erin Vespe, Gretchen L. Lowe, and Vincent A. McGonagle.
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For CFTC Customer Protection information on commodity pool fraud, please see the CFTC’s Consumer Advisory, Beware of Commodity Investment Opportunities Promising Large Profits and Little Risk, Even When Offered by Persons You Know, at http://www.cftc.gov/files/enf/enfadvisory-pool.pdf.
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The CFTC encourages members of the public to bring to our attention any suspicious activities involving futures or commodity options, including matters involving foreign currency (forex) investments or suspicious Internet websites.
You may contact the CFTC at 1-866-FON-CFTC (1-866-366-2382), visit us at our Customer Protection web page: (http://www.cftc.gov/cftc/cftccustomer.htm), or fill out our Internet Report Form identifying your concerns (http://www.cftc.gov/enf/enfform.htm).
In addition, the CFTC publishes a series of Consumer Advisories at http://www.cftc.gov/cftc/cftccustomer.htm#advisory alerting the public to warning signs of possible fraudulent activity and offering precautions individuals should take before committing funds.
Last Updated: April 12, 2007