June 19, 2014
Washington, DC — The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) obtained a federal court Order requiring Defendants Robert J. Andres of Houston, Texas, his company, Winsome Investment Trust (Winsome), Robert L. Holloway of San Diego, California, and his company US Ventures LC (USV), to pay a civil monetary penalty of $32,370,000 and restitution for defrauded customers totaling $12 million. The court’s Order also imposes permanent trading and registration bans against Andres, Winsome, Holloway, and USV and prohibits them from violating provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act, as charged.
The default judgment Order stems from a CFTC civil enforcement action filed on January 24, 2011, that charged the Defendants with fraud in the operation of a commodity futures pool (see CFTC Press Release 5976-11). The Order (see Related Link) was entered by the Honorable Bruce S. Jenkins of the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah on June 6, 2014.
Specifically, the Order finds that:
In a parallel criminal actions brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah, Andres was indicted on five counts of wire fraud, and Holloway was indicted on four counts of wire fraud and one count of making and filing a false income tax return. Holloway’s trial date is currently set for July 8, 2014. Andres pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, and he is scheduled to be sentenced on August 20, 2014.
The CFTC appreciates the assistance of the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (Spain), the Dubai Financial Services Authority, and the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission.
CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Alan Edelman, Kevin S. Webb, Michelle S. Bougas, Heather Johnson, Kara Mucha, James H. Holl III, and Gretchen L. Lowe.
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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: June 27, 2014