May 2, 2014
Washington, DC — The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that The Honorable Kevin P. Castel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, on May 1, 2014, entered a restraining order freezing assets and prohibiting the destruction or concealment of books and records of Defendants EJS Capital Management, LLC (EJS), Alex Vladimir Ekdeshman of Holmdel, N.J., and Edward J. Servider of Staten Island, N.Y (collectively Defendants), and of Relief Defendants Alisa Ekdeshman of Holmdel, N.J. (Ekdeshman’s wife), Executive Services of Florida LLC, Executive Management Services of Montana Inc., and Michael Vilner of Sunny Isles Beach, Fla.
The Court’s order arises out of a Complaint filed on May 1, 2014, charging Defendants with fraudulent solicitation of more than $2 million, misappropriation of most of those funds, issuing false account statements, and registration violations in an ongoing retail foreign currency (forex) fraud scheme.
The CFTC also charged that Ekdeshman is in violation of a U.S. District Court Order entered on July 8, 2013, arising out of a prior CFTC action against Ekdeshman where he was charged with solicitation fraud and misappropriating “the vast majority” of customer funds for business expenses. Specifically, the Complaint charged Ekdeshman and Paramount Management, LLC with operating a fraudulent scheme that solicited more than $1.3 million from approximately 110 retail customers to engage in leveraged or margined foreign currency (forex) transactions with unregistered off-shore counterparties. CFTC v. Paramount Management, LLC and Alex Vladimir Ekdeshman, C.A. No. 13-Civ. 4436 (CM) (SDNY Sept. 9, 2013) (see CFTC Press Release 6690-13). The prior court Order against Ekdeshman permanently prohibited Ekdeshman from cheating or defrauding other persons, from soliciting, receiving or accepting funds from any person for the purpose of purchasing or selling forex contracts, and from engaging in any activity requiring registration with the CFTC.
According to the CFTC’s Complaint filed yesterday, between April 2013 and the present, the Defendants fraudulently solicited more than $2 million from at least 90 retail customers. The Complaint alleges that the Defendants misappropriated almost all of the customer funds for their own use, including vacations in Florida and Italy, automobile leases, liquor purchases, employee salaries and commissions, and office rent. The Complaint further alleges that Defendants issued false account statements to customers that listed profits from forex trading although no customer funds were traded in forex and no profits were generated from forex trading. And the Complaint charges that EJS’s website falsely reported that specified EJS trading had been profitable.
The CFTC Complaint also alleges that the Relief Defendants directly and indirectly received funds from EJS bank accounts to which they have no legitimate claim. None of the Defendants or Relief Defendants has ever been registered with the CFTC.
The Court has set a hearing date on the CFTC’s motion for a preliminary injunction for May 12, 2014. In its continuing litigation, the CFTC seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, restitution for the benefit of defrauded EJS customers, civil monetary penalties, permanent registration and trading bans, and a permanent injunction from future violations of federal commodities laws, as charged.
In a criminal action, on May 2, 2014, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced that it had filed a criminal complaint charging Ekdeshman with one count each of commodities fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud. Ekdeshman was arrested in Holmdel, N.J., by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The CFTC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the FBI, the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority, l'Autorité des Marchés Financiers du Québec, and the Financial Services Board of the Republic of South Africa.
CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this action are Nathan B. Ploener, Philip D. Rix, Elizabeth C. Brennan, Steven Ringer, Lenel Hickson, Jr., and Manal M. Sultan.
Last Updated: May 2, 2014