For Release: November 24, 2009
Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today obtained an emergency court order freezing assets held by Minnesota residents Trevor G. Cook, Patrick Kiley, and their companies, Oxford Global Advisors, LLC (OGA), Oxford Global Partners, LLC (OGP), Universal Brokerage FX (UBFX) and Universal Brokerage FX Diversified (UBFXD), all charged by the CFTC with fraud and misappropriation in connection with off-exchange leveraged foreign currency (forex) trading.
The court’s order, entered by Chief Judge Michael Davis of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, also prohibits the destruction of books and records and provides the CFTC access to such documents. Cook resides in Apple Valley, Minn., and Kiley resides in Burnside, Minn. UBFX and UBFXD are based in Burnside; OGA and OGP are based in Minneapolis. Minn.
CFTC charges defendants with running a massive forex scheme that defrauded hundreds of customers of more than $190 million.
The court’s order stems from a CFTC complaint filed under seal on November 23, 2009, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, charging the defendants with running a massive forex scheme since 2006 that defrauded hundreds of U.S. customers of more than $190 million.
The complaint also charges that the defendants misappropriated customer funds to purchase property, develop a hotel and casino in Panama, buy seven luxury cars, a house boat and a submarine and fund their frequent gambling.
The defendants allegedly solicited customers to trade forex by fraudulently claiming that, since 2003, they earned more than 10 percent annual profits and sustained no losses. The defendants also claimed that customers’ funds were placed in managed, segregated accounts with Crown Forex, SA, a Swiss company majority-owned by Cook since December, 2008. Instead, defendants misappropriated customer funds and continued to solicit and accept funds until July 2009 – even though the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) placed Crown Forex into receivership in December, 2008, and into bankruptcy in May 2009. The defendants perpetuated their fraud by providing customers with account statements falsely depicting that their accounts were earning from 10 to 12 percent annual profits.
In its continuing litigation, the CFTC seeks a return of ill-gotten gains, restitution to defrauded customers and civil monetary penalties.
The CFTC appreciates the assistance of the FINMA, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minneapolis in this action.
The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this case: Susan Gradman, Barry Blankfield, William Janulis, David Slovick, Adestoysse Olarinde, Judy McCorkle, Scott Williamson, Rosemary Hollinger and Richard Wagner.
Last Updated: November 30, 2009