For Release: March 27, 2003
UTAH MAN CHARGED WITH DEFRAUDING CUSTOMERS
OF MORE THAN $300,000 IN FOREIGN CURRENCY (FOREX)
CFTC Obtains Federal Court Order Freezing Assets of
Defendants Bryan Hawker and G, Hawker & Stone, LLC
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that a federal district court in Utah issued an order freezing the assets and preventing the destruction of the books and records of defendants Bryan Keith Hawker of Sandy, Utah, and G, Hawker & Stone, LLC, a Utah limited liability company that Hawker operated out of his home.
The order, entered on March 13, 2003, stems from a CFTC complaint filed the day before, on March 12, 2003, alleging that, since at least October 2002, the defendants fraudulently offered and sold foreign currency (FOREX) futures contracts to the retail public, and accepted approximately $311,000 from at least twelve persons.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that the defendants falsely claimed to have successful experience trading accounts they managed for customers and made statements minimizing the risks of FOREX trading when, in fact, the only trading in which defendants are known to have engaged resulted in losses. In addition, the complaint alleges that Hawker failed to disclose his criminal background to investors and prospective investors, including a February 2000 guilty plea to a third-degree felony count of attempted insurance fraud, and nine counts of state securities fraud that were pending since January 2002.
The CFTC complaint also charges that Hawker and G, Hawker & Stone did not use investor funds to trade foreign currencies; instead, they used most of the funds they accepted from investors for other purposes and have not accounted for those funds. On March 5, 2003, Hawker was arrested by state authorities and charged with five state law felonies arising from the same conduct charged by the CFTC.
The CFTC is seeking an injunction against each of the defendants, the repayment of ill-gotten gains, a refund of customer losses, and civil penalties against each defendant of not more than the higher of $120,000 or triple the monetary gain to the defendant for each violation of the Commodity Exchange Act or CFTC regulations.
Hearing on CFTC Motion for Preliminary Injunction Set for April 17th
The Honorable J. Thomas Greene of the United States District Court for the District of Utah has set a hearing for the CFTC’s motion for preliminary injunction for April 17, 2003, at 10:00 am.
The State of Utah, Department of Commerce, Division of Securities and the Utah Attorney General’s Office assisted the CFTC staff in this investigation. The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this case: Michael Tallarico, William P. Janulis, Vincent B. Johnson, Scott R. Williamson, and Rosemary Hollinger.
A copy of the CFTC complaint and restraining order may be obtained at www.cftc.gov.
Media Case Enforcement Contact:
Associate Director and Regional Counsel
CFTC Division of Enforcement
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A CFTC Consumer Advisory Warns the Public of the Risks of
Foreign Currency (FOREX) Trading and Foreign Currency Scams
The CFTC has issued a Consumer Advisory 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. See Beware of Foreign Currency Trading Frauds, March 8, 2001 (www.cftc.gov/cftc/cftccustomer.htm).
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