March 20, 2014
Washington, DC The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed an enforcement action March 19, 2014 against Defendant Steven Lyn Scott (a/k/a Stevon Lyn Scott) of Dallas, Texas, charging him with solicitation fraud, misappropriation of customer funds, and registration violations in connection with operating a fraudulent commodity pool scheme.
According to the CFTC Complaint, from at least January 5, 2009 and through at least March 30, 2011, Scott fraudulently solicited at least $1,146,000 from at least 43 pool participants to participate in pooled investment vehicles to trade in off-exchange agreements, contracts, or transactions in foreign currency (forex) on a leveraged or margined basis. Scott, directly and by word of mouth, allegedly solicited pool participants located in Texas and solicited at least some pool participants by email. Pool participants allegedly included Scott’s friends, family members, and other members of the general public.
Specifically, according to the Complaint, Scott solicited pool participants to participate in pooled investment vehicles in the name of an entity he owned and controlled, Stewardship Financial Exchange, Inc. In his solicitations, Scott allegedly guaranteed monthly returns between two percent and five percent to pool participants who entered into six-month contracts, purportedly generating such returns by pooling participants’ funds and trading in off-exchange forex transactions on a leveraged or margined basis.
However, instead of trading pool participants’ funds, Scott initially directly misappropriated 50 percent of pool participants’ funds by depositing their funds into his personal and corporate bank accounts, and then using the funds for personal expenses, the Complaint alleges. Scott then subsequently misappropriated the remaining funds throughout the relevant period by trading them in his personal trading accounts.
In soliciting actual and prospective customers, Scott allegedly omitted material facts, including but not limited to (1) that he failed to trade pool participants’ funds as promised, 2) that he misappropriated pool participants’ funds, (3) that he did not generate the monthly “profits” guaranteed to pool participants, and (4) that he was acting as a Commodity Pool Operator without being registered as such, as required by the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC Regulations. Scott’s omissions were material and operated as a fraud or deceit upon pool participates, according to the Complaint.
In its continuing litigation against Scott, the CFTC seeks civil monetary penalties, restitution, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, trading and registration bans, and a permanent injunction against further violations of the federal commodities laws, as charged.
The CFTC thanks the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas for its assistance in this matter.
CFTC Division of Enforcement staff responsible for this case are Jason Mahoney, Michael Amakor, George Malas, Timothy J. Mulreany, and Paul Hayeck.
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CFTC’s Commodity Pool Fraud Advisory
The CFTC has issued several customer protection Fraud Advisories that provide the warning signs of fraud, including the Commodity Pool Fraud Advisory, which warns customers about a type of fraud that involves individuals and firms, often unregistered, offering investments in commodity pools.
Customers can report suspicious activities or information, such as possible violations of commodity trading laws, to the CFTC Division of Enforcement via a Toll-Free Hotline 866-FON-CFTC (866-366-2382) or file a tip or complaint online.
Last Updated: March 20, 2014