March 29, 2013
Washington, DC - The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that Judge Graham Mullen of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina entered an emergency Order freezing and preserving assets under the control of defendant James Harvey Mason of Graham, North Carolina, and relief defendants The JHM Forex Only Pool (JHM) and Forex Trading at Home (FTAH). The Order also prohibits Mason, JHM, and FTAH from destroying books and records, appoints a receiver to protect customer funds, and grants the CFTC immediate access to the records of the defendant and his agents.
The Order arises out of a civil enforcement Complaint filed by the CFTC on March 27, 2013, charging Mason with fraudulently soliciting, accepting, and pooling at least $1.1 million from at least 60 individuals to participate in off-exchange foreign currency (forex) commodity pools and misappropriating at least $600,000 of participant funds.
According to the CFTC’s Complaint, Mason fraudulently told pool participants and prospective pool participants that they would be at no risk of losing their principal and would instead make profits of as much as 500 percent annually if they invested with one or both of JHM and FTAH. In fact, the Complaint alleges that the forex accounts traded lost more than $1 million since July 2010. The Complaint further alleges that Mason failed to register with the CFTC as a Commodity Pool Operator and also failed to disclose to participants that he had a conviction in 2000 for wire fraud in connection with the sale of commodities.
In its continuing litigation, the CFTC seeks a permanent injunction from future violations of federal commodities laws, permanent registration and trading bans, restitution to defrauded pool participants, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, and civil monetary penalties.
The CFTC appreciates the assistance of the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Securities Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina.
CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Barry R. Blankfield, Jennifer E. Smiley, Heather Johnson, Patricia Gomersall, Joseph Konizeski, Scott Williamson, Rosemary Hollinger, Joan Manley, and Richard B. Wagner.
Last Updated: March 29, 2013