For Release: September 4, 2009
Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that it obtained an emergency federal court order freezing the assets of defendants Beau Diamond and his company, Diamond Ventures LLC, both of Sarasota, Fla. The court’s order also prohibits the destruction of documents and grants the CFTC immediate access to defendants’ documents.
The order, entered on September 3, 2009, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, arises from a CFTC enforcement action filed that day charging Diamond and Diamond Ventures with operating a $37 million foreign currency (forex) Ponzi scheme that defrauded at least 200 investors.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that, from at least April, 2006, to the present, the defendants falsely guaranteed investors the return of their principal plus monthly returns ranging from 2.75 percent to 5 percent purportedly paid from defendants’ successful forex trading. In reality, the defendants lost $13.3 million trading investors’ funds, according to the CFTC. To conceal and perpetuate their alleged fraud, the defendants provided investors with false account statements showing that their accounts were increasing as promised although the accounts actually were losing money. The CFTC also alleges that the defendants misappropriated at least $850,000 of customer funds and used the money for luxury purchases and gambling.
In the continuing litigation, the CFTC is seeking repayment of investor losses, repayment of funds received by the defendants, civil monetary penalties and permanent injunctions prohibiting the defendants from violating federal commodity laws and from engaging in further trading.
The CFTC appreciates the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, which filed a criminal complaint against Diamond.
The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this case: Diane M. Romaniuk, Ava M. Gould, Mary Elizabeth Spear, Scott R. Williamson, Rosemary Hollinger and Richard B. Wagner.
Last Updated: September 4, 2009