CFTC News Release 4420-00 (00-CV-0300)
For Release July 13, 2000
CFTC CHARGES PHILLIP FERGUSON d/b/a FERGUSON FINANCIAL, B & F TRADING, AND FIRST INVESTOR’S GROUP WITH COMMODITY POOL FRAUD AND FAILURE TO REGISTER AS A COMMODITY POOL OPERATOR
WASHINGTON -- The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that on July 11, 2000, it filed an injunctive action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, against Phillip Ferguson of Summitville, Indiana, (doing business as Ferguson Financial, B&F Trading (B&F), and First Investor’s Group Inc. (FIG)) charging fraud and registration violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations in connection with Ferguson's operation of at least two commodity pools. Ferguson, the sole principal of Ferguson Financial, B&F, and FIG, is not currently registered with the CFTC.
The CFTC complaint alleges that, since at least 1997 and continuing through the present, Ferguson solicited and accepted millions of dollars from the general public to participate in at least two commodity pools, deposited over $3.8 million into these pools, and failed to register as a commodity pool operator, in violation of section 4m(1) of the CEA. The complaint also alleges that Ferguson issued false "Trade Logs" to at least one pool investor that showed fictitious daily trading of commodity futures contracts and a false account balance of over $129 million as of March 2000, in violation of section 4b(a)(ii) of the CEA.
In addition to his allegedly fraudulent commodity pool activities, the complaint charges that Ferguson refused to provide requested books and records concerning the two commodity pools to the CFTC under its inspection powers, in violation of CFTC regulations 1.31 and 4.23.
In its continuing litigation, the CFTC is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, an accounting, and civil monetary penalties of not more than the higher of $110,000 (or $100,000 for violations prior to November 27, 1996) or triple the monetary gain to the defendant, among other remedial relief. A hearing has been scheduled for July 20 on the CFTC's motion for a preliminary injunction in the case.
The National Futures Association provided valuable assistance to the CFTC during the investigation of this matter.
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