For Release: August 26, 2009
Washington, DC -The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that a Federal court judge in Los Angeles continued an asset freeze against Gordon A. Driver of Las Vegas, Nev. and his companies, Axcess Automation LLC and Axcess Fund Management LLC, all charged in a CFTC anti-fraud action with operating a $13.5 million Ponzi scheme. The scheme allegedly defrauded more than 100 participants in the United States and Canada, with many participants residing in Los Angeles County and in Ontario Province.
The preliminary injunction order, entered on August 17, 2009, by Judge Otis D. Wright II of the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, continues the court’s asset freeze against the defendants entered on May 14, 2009, when the CFTC charged them with defrauding commodity pool participants. The court order requires defendants to provide to the CFTC an accounting of their assets and prohibits them from engaging in any commodity-related trading, among other relief.
The order arises from a CFTC complaint that charges defendants with operating two commodity pools as a Ponzi scheme, misappropriating pool participant funds and issuing false statements to participants. Defendants allegedly accepted more than $13.5 million from participants and traded only about $3.7 million of this amount, losing approximately $3.5 million. Gordon Driver allegedly misappropriated pool funds for his personal expenses, including cash withdrawals at Las Vegas casinos (See CFTC Press Release 5656-09, May 15, 2009).
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a related civil action against Driver and Axcess Automation LLC on May 14, 2009 (SEC v. Driver, et al., case no. 09cv3410 ODW (RZx)). On April 15, 2009, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) filed a cease trading order against Driver, temporarily prohibiting him from trading any securities within Ontario Province. The CFTC appreciates the assistance of the SEC and the OSC in this litigation.
In the continuing litigation, the CFTC seeks a permanent injunction order, civil monetary penalties and other equitable relief against the defendants.
The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this matter: W. Derek Shakabpa, Judith M. Slowly, Michael R. Berlowitz, David Acevedo, Lenel Hickson Jr. and Vincent A. McGonagle.
Last Updated: August 26, 2009