For Release: June 18, 2003
CFTC CHARGES FLORIDA COMPANY AND RESIDENTS WITH DEFRAUDING CUSTOMERS IN FOREIGN CURRENCY OPTIONS SCAM
CFTC Alleges that Thomas Dooley, Inc. and Michael O’Keefe Supposedly Solicited Customer Funds for Trading Purposes, But Instead Used the Funds for Business and Personal Expenses
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today the recent filing of an enforcement action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Thomas Dooley, Inc. (Dooley), a Boca Raton, Florida corporation, and Michael O’Keefe (O’Keefe) and Natasha La Bruce (La Bruce), both residents of Boca Raton.
The recently filed complaint charges that since November 2002, Dooley and O’Keefe fraudulently solicited customers to invest in illegal, off-exchange options on foreign currency contracts (forex) and misused customer funds.
The complaint also alleges that Dooley and O’Keefe never used the customers’ money to purchase any options contracts, as they had represented they would do. Instead, O’Keefe and La Bruce allegedly used virtually all the funds solicited – approximately $178,500 -- for their own business and personal expenses.
In its continuing litigation, the CFTC is seeking to enjoin the defendants from further violations, payment of funds to defrauded customers, repayment of funds received illegally, and civil penalties.
The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this case: Lael Campbell, Mary Kaminski, John Dunfee, Joan Manley, and Paul Hayeck.
A copy of the CFTC complaint and restraining order may be obtained at www.cftc.gov.
The CFTC Has Issued A Consumer Advisory on FOREX Fraud
Investors seeking information on foreign currency investments should review the CFTC’s Consumer Advisory on Foreign Currency Fraud (at www.cftc.gov/cftc/cftccustomer.htm), listing warning signs of FOREX scams. The CFTC also has issued two Advisories on how FOREX
firms may lawfully offer foreign currency futures and options trading opportunities to the retail public (see CFTC News Release 4625-02, March 21, 2002; CFTC Advisory, March 21, 2002; and CFTC Advisory 06-01, February 5, 2001).
CFTC Media Enforcement Contact:
Paul G. Hayeck, Associate Director
CFTC Division of Enforcement
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