Release: 4815-03 (Civ-01-06926-JFW-RZX)
For Release: July 9, 2003
CALIFORNIA COURT SANCTIONS FOREIGN CURRENCY (FOREX) FIRM ACRO INFORMATION SERVICE, INC. AND ITS EMPLOYEES FOR FRAUD AND ILLEGAL COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that Judge John F. Walter of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California entered orders of permanent injunction against defendants Acro Information Service, Inc. (Acro), of Monterey Park, California; Pakco Holdings Limited (Pakco) of Carson City, Nevada; Monterey, California resident Dr. Florentius Chan (Chan) and his wife Sandy H. Chan (Sandy Chan); and Andrew Tai Wai (Wai), formerly of Alhambra, California, who currently resides in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
The orders stem from a two-count CFTC complaint filed on August 9, 2001, against the defendants (see CFTC News Release 4551-01, August 9, 2001). Dr. Chan formerly owned Acro and Sandy Chan was Acro’s President. Since May 2001, Wai owned and acted as President of Acro, as well as Pakco.
The CFTC complaint alleged that since March 2000, Acro solicited customers by advertising high-income employment opportunities in Asian and other foreign-language newspapers, and that persons who responded to the ads were offered employment trading off-exchange foreign currency futures (forex) contracts. The complaint further alleged that Acro’s owners and employees represented to prospective employees that their trading would be profitable and that their risk would be limited. As alleged in the complaint, after minimal training, the employees opened their own trading accounts, and, with few exceptions, lost all or most of their investments.
The orders prohibit Acro, Pakco, Dr. Chan, and Wai from violating the anti-fraud provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations, and all defendants from violating the CEA’s off-exchange trading provisions. The orders also require the Chans to pay $225,000 and Wai to pay $110,000 in civil penalties. The court further ordered Wai to pay specified restitution to customers of Acro and Pakco during his ownership of those businesses.
The consent orders also permanently prohibit the Chans and Wai from seeking registration with the CFTC, or acting in any capacity that requires registration or exemption from registration, and prohibits them from trading commodity interests for themselves or others, or otherwise engaging in business activities relating to commodity interest trading.
The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff were responsible for this case: Jack Barrett, Louis V. Traeger, Myrna D. Morganstern, Bruce P. Gale, and Deborah Boone.
Media Enforcement Contact:
Richard Wagner, Deputy Director
Commodity Futures Trading Commission
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