For Release: March 21, 2002
CFTC SETTLES CHARGES AGAINST MINNESOTA DEFENDANTS IN COMMODITY POOL FRAUD CASE
Leonard Nauman and His Two Companies, Pension America, Inc., and Futures Profit Making, LLC, Are Permanently Barred From Trading For Others
WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that it settled an enforcement action against Leonard Nauman of Golden Valley, Minnesota; his company, Pension America, Inc. (PAI); and a commodity pool he operated, Futures Profit Making, LLC (FPM). The CFTC complaint, filed in September 2000 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, alleged, among other things, that the defendants had fraudulently solicited customers to invest at least $600,000 in various commodity pools they ran, misrepresented their past trading success to potential investors, and misappropriated investors’ funds for their personal uses, such as for making purported returns of principal and profits to earlier investors, in a manner akin to a Ponzi scheme (see CFTC News Release 4445-00, September 7, 2000).
The consent order, entered on March 4, 2002, among other things, requires Nauman to pay total restitution of $556,452, jointly and severally with PAI, and requires FPM to pay $68,800 of that restitution amount, jointly and severally with Nauman, pursuant to a ten-year payment plan. The order also requires Nauman and PAI to pay, upon satisfaction of their restitution obligation, a civil monetary penalty of up to $242,432, pursuant to the payment plan. In consenting to the order, Nauman, PAI and FPM neither admitted nor denied the allegations in the complaint.
The order also permanently bars Nauman and his companies from further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act, as charged in the complaint, and from trading for others, and from seeking registration or claiming exemption from registration with the CFTC or acting as a principal, agent, officer or employee of any person registered, required to be registered, or exempt from registration, except as provided in Commission regulation 4.14(a)(9). The order also bars Nauman from trading for his own account, or any account in which he has an interest, for ten years or until he pays his restitution obligation in full, whichever happens first.
The CFTC complaint alleged that, from 1997 through 2000, Nauman and the other defendants fraudulently solicited customers -- mostly in the Minneapolis and Brainerd, Minnesota areas -- to invest in four commodity pools by, for example, claiming profitable returns of 40 percent annually, when they were not actually successful commodity traders, promising investors profitable trading while claiming to be able to limit risk, and issuing monthly commodity statements to investors that made false claims of profitable trading.
The Minnesota District Court previously entered a consent order against the other defendants Edward Stevenson Kirris III, William Relf and three commodity pools they operated. That order barred them from operating in the commodities industry and required them to pay restitution and civil monetary penalties (see CFTC News Release 4539-01, July 5, 2001).
The following Division of Enforcement staff are responsible for the case: Scott Williamson, Robert Greenwald and Susan Gradman.
Media Case Contact:
Scott Williamson, Acting Regional Counsel
Central Regional Office
Division of Enforcement
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