For Release: February 13, 2003
CALIFORNIA FIRM AND ITS TWO PRINCIPALS CHARGED WITH FOREIGN CURRENCY (FOREX) SWINDLE
Government Files Lawsuit Against EuroBancorp, Inc., Paris DeLesseppes, and John Lassen for Fraud
Further Charges are Brought Against EuroBancorp and Global Interbank, Inc. for Offering and Selling Illegal, Off-Exchange Foreign Currency Futures Contracts
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today the filing of an action in federal district court in California, charging defendants EuroBancorp, Inc., a California corporation, Paris DeLesseppes of Beverly Hills, California, and John Lassen of Camarillo, California, with fraudulently soliciting customers and illegally conducting their futures business off-exchange. The complaint also charges defendant Global Interbank, Inc., a Nevada corporation doing business in California, with illegal, off-exchange activity.
On February 6, 2003, the court issued a restraining order against DeLesseppes, preventing her from soliciting or accepting money from customers and from engaging in any commodities-related activities.
Specifically, the CFTC complaint, filed on February 3, 2003, alleges that, between March and December 2001, defendants EuroBancorp, Paris DeLesseppes, and John Lassen fraudulently solicited members of the retail public to purchase FOREX futures contracts by making false representations about the likelihood of profits and minimizing the risk of foreign currency futures trading. According to the complaint, for example, on their website the defendants provided testimonials from two “investors,” one who claimed a 34% return in 3 months on his investment; and the other who claimed a 45% return over an unspecified period of time. These particular “investors,” however, also according to the complaint, never invested in foreign currency futures trading through EuroBancorp. In addition, according to the complaint, the defendants made false oral and written statements to their customers regarding the general profitability of their FOREX trading, when in fact, their trading generally resulted in losses. These defendants are also charged with illegally offering futures contracts to members of the retail public off-exchange.
The complaint charges Global Interbank as well with illegally selling off-exchange foreign currency futures contracts to members of the retail public.
The Honorable Florence-Marie Cooper of the United States District Court for the Central District of California has ordered a hearing on the CFTC’s motion for preliminary injunction for February 21, 2003.
The CFTC is seeking a permanent injunction against each of the defendants, restitution to defrauded customers, disgorgement of all ill-gotten profits 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 CEA.
The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this case: Gretchen L. Lowe, Rick Glaser, Myrna Morganstern, Louis Traeger, and Bruce Gale.
A copy of the CFTC complaint and restraining order may be obtained at www.cftc.gov.
Media Case Enforcement Contact:
Richard Wagner, Deputy Director
CFTC Division of Enforcement
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The CFTC Has Issued A Consumer Advisory Warning the Public of the Risks of Foreign Currency (FOREX) Trading and Foreign Currency Scams
The CFTC has issued a Consumer Advisory (at www.cftc.gov/cftc/cftccustomer.htm) urging the public to scrutinize claims of high-return, low-risk investment opportunities in foreign currency (FOREX) trading. This Consumer Advisory provides "red flags" to look for, and cautionary steps to be taken, before making an investment. The CFTC has also issued Advisories concerning the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of December 2000, and how FOREX firms may lawfully offer foreign currency futures and options trading opportunities to the retail public (see CFTC Press Release 4625-02, March 21, 2002; CFTC Advisory, March 21, 2002; and CFTC Advisory 06-01, February 5, 2001).
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