For Release: February 11, 2003
FLORIDA FOREIGN CURRENCY FIRM AND OTHERS CHARGED WITH FRAUD
CFTC Obtains Federal Court Order Freezing Assets of Defendants InterTrade Forex, Inc., Stanley Craig Wakefield and Pritesh Patel
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that on January 30, 2003, a federal district court in Florida issued a restraining order freezing the assets and preventing the destruction of the books and records of defendants InterTrade Forex, Inc., a Delaware corporation doing business in Florida, Stanley Craig Wakefield of Kissimmee, Florida, and Pritesh Patel of London, England.
The order stems from a complaint filed by the CFTC on January 29, 2003, alleging that, since at least March 11, 2001, the defendants fraudulently offered and sold illegal off-exchange foreign currency (FOREX) futures contracts to the retail public through their Internet website.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that the defendants falsely claimed to have achieved high rates of returns for trading accounts they managed for customers, when in fact, the only known trading by defendants resulted in losses. In addition, the complaint alleges that defendants purported to offer contracts in “spot” and “cash” foreign currency to retail investors that in reality were illegal futures contracts.
The CFTC is seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction against each of the defendants, restitution to defrauded customers, disgorgement of all ill-gotten profits and benefits defendants received as a result of their acts and practices described in the complaint, and civil monetary penalties of up to $120,000, or triple the monetary gain to each defendant, whichever is greater, for each violation of the Commodity Exchange Act.
The Honorable Gregory A. Presnell of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida has set a hearing for the CFTC’s motion for preliminary injunction for February 27, 2003, at 8:45 am.
The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this case: Gretchen L. Lowe, Karen Kenmotsu, Jason Gizzarelli, and Kay Majors-Guy.
A copy of the CFTC complaint and restraining order may be obtained at www.cftc.gov.
Media Case Enforcement Contact:
Gretchen L. Lowe
CFTC Division of Enforcement
# # #