For Release: December 22, 2008
Washington, DC — The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that Joerg Heierle, of Miami Beach, Florida, and INH-Interholding SA (INH) of Switzerland and Miami Beach, were found jointly and severally liable for the payment of $3,075,841 in restitution to defrauded investors and were each ordered to pay a $3 million civil penalty.
The default judgment against the defendants was entered on December 19, 2008, by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, following their failure to appear or answer the CFTC’s complaint charging them with fraud in connection with the operation of a commodity pool. The court found that the defendants’ fraudulent solicitations netted at least $4,367,206 from at least 25 pool participants. According to the court’s order, Heierle and INH sustained $985,357 in trading losses and returned $306,008 to pool participants as purported profits. The court’s order also permanently prohibits both defendants from engaging in any activity related to commodity trading.
In a separate order filed on December 19, 2008, the court entered default judgment against relief defendant Futures Trading Academy, Inc. (FTA) of Bay Harbour, Florida, ordering it to disgorge more than $420,000 in INH customer funds.
Both orders arise out of a CFTC complaint filed on September 12, 2007 in the same federal court, charging Heierle and INH with fraudulently soliciting at least $4.4 million for investment in a commodity futures and options pool fraud scheme. The complaint also charged Heierle and INH with concealing trading losses by issuing, or causing to be issued, false statements to pool participants regarding the profitability of their INH investments. The CFTC named FTA as a relief defendant due to its receipt of pool participants’ funds for which it provided no legitimate services and to which it had no legitimate interest or entitlement. (See CFTC Press Release 5387-07, September 25, 2007.)
The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this case: Kevin S. Webb, James H. Holl III, Kara Mucha, Michelle Bougas, Gretchen L. Lowe, and Vincent A. McGonagle.
R. David Gary
Last Updated: December 22, 2008