February 15, 2012
Court orders asset freeze and preliminary injunction
Washington, DC — The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that on February 8, 2012, it filed a federal court action in the District of Puerto Rico charging Angel Fernando Collazo of Salinas, Puerto Rico, and his companies, ACJ Capital, Inc. (ACJ) and Solid View Capital LLC (Solid View), both of San Juan, with fraud and misappropriation in a $1 million off-exchange leveraged foreign currency (forex) Ponzi scheme. On February 9, 2012, the court entered a statutory restraining order freezing the defendants’ assets. On February 14, 2012, the court entered a consent preliminary injunction maintaining the asset freeze and barring defendants from violating various anti-fraud and registration provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act and Commission regulations.
The CFTC complaint alleges that Collazo and his companies fraudulently solicited commodity pool participants by falsely claiming profitable returns, while minimizing and failing to fully disclose the risks of trading leveraged forex. The defendants allegedly misappropriated pool funds to make payments to pool participants and for personal uses, failed to disclose their intended uses of pool participant funds, misrepresented the profitability of pool trading accounts, and distributed statements to ACJ/Solid View pool participants that contained false account values, including showing consistent, substantial trading profits.
Specifically, Collazo allegedly made false verbal representations to pool participants that his trading was profitable. In another instance, one pool participant allegedly received fabricated ACJ bank statements showing substantial payments to some of the defendants’ investment partners. As alleged, the bank statements did not accurately reflect the true activity in the bank account or ACJ’s trading results.
In its continuing litigation, the CFTC seeks restitution to defrauded customers, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, trading and registration bans, and permanent injunctions against further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and Commission regulations.
On May 4, 2011, the CFTC filed an enforcement action against Collazo and ACJ in the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico charging them with fraudulent solicitation in connection with an earlier, separate fraud (see CFTC Press Release 6039-11, May 16, 2011). On December 13, 2011, Collazo pled guilty to charges of wire fraud and money laundering in connection with the earlier fraud. US v. Collazo, Crim. No. 3:11-00173-GAG (D.P.R. filed May 4, 2011).
The CFTC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom Financial Services Authority in this matter.
CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Melanie Bates, Kara Mucha, James A. Garcia, Michael Solinsky, Gretchen L. Lowe, and Vincent A. McGonagle.
Last Updated: February 15, 2012