November 9, 2011
Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today issued an order filing and simultaneously settling charges that Alan A. Grant and his company, Francis Grant Investments Inc. (FGI), of Davie, Fla., committed fraud by failing to disclose to customers that the off-shore foreign currency (forex) pool in which they participated had ceased trading and assets were frozen due to a foreign regulatory action. Grant and FGI issued false account statements showing profitable trading by the off-shore pool and continued to solicit funds even though the pool was no longer trading.
The CFTC order specifically finds that from April 2007 through August 2008, Grant solicited millions of dollars from hundreds of customers to participate in a commodity pool managed by an off-shore third party based out of the Turks and Caicos Islands. The off-shore pool was to trade exclusively leveraged off-exchange forex.
According to the Order, in early 2008, Grant and FGI became aware of a foreign regulatory action being taken against the off-shore pool and that trading had ceased. Grant and FGI did not disclose this to their customers. Instead, they issued customer account statements falsely reflecting that investments were increasing in value. They also continued to solicit and accept new customer funds claiming that the off-shore pool was trading profitably. From June through August 2008, Grant and FGI fraudulently solicited approximately $155,000 from some 18 customers.
The Order requires Grant and FGI to pay, jointly and severally, a $500,000 civil monetary penalty and requires them to cease and desist from further violations of the anti-fraud provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act. Further, the CFTC Order imposes a trading ban that permanently prohibits them from engaging, directly or indirectly, in certain commodity-related activities, including but not limited to trading, soliciting funds, and seeking registration.
CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Timothy M. Kirby, Brandon T. Tasco, Kevin K. Batteh, Gretchen L. Lowe and Vincent A. McGonagle.
Last Updated: November 9, 2011