For Release: September 11, 2003
FEDERAL COURT ORDERS FLORIDA RESIDENTS TO REPAY DEFRAUDED FOREIGN CURRENCY (FOREX) CUSTOMERS $1.9 MILLION
Court Also Orders Defendants Daniel Fasciana and Anthony Russo to Pay Civil Penalties Totaling $6 Million and to Forfeit Certain Assets for Defrauding Customers While Selling Illegal Foreign Currency Option Contracts
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida has issued a consent order of permanent injunction ordering Florida residents Daniel Fasciana of Fort Lauderdale, and Anthony Russo, also known as Teddy Connal, of Lighthouse Point, along with four companies they owned, to repay more than $1.9 million to customers, to pay a further civil penalty of $6 million following their fulfillment of customer repayment obligations, and other sanctions. The four companies are Offshore Financial Consultants (Florida and Georgia) of Coconut Creek, Florida, and Atlanta, Georgia, respectively; Global Financial Consultants of Kenner, Louisiana; and International Currency Merchants of Norcross, Georgia.
The consent order finds that that the defendants fraudulently solicited customers to purchase illegal off-exchange foreign currency (forex) options by misrepresenting the profit potential of foreign currency trading – claiming investors could double or even quadruple their money – and by failing to advise customers of the risks involved in such trading. According to the consent order, the defendants, after receiving customer funds, stole those funds and used them for business and personal expenses. The consent order also found that the defendants attempted to conceal the fraud by transferring customer funds through accounts held by the relief defendants in a complex trail of national and international bank transfers.
The order requires defendants to repay defrauded customers $1,964,478, and to pay contingent civil penalties totaling $6 million once defendants have repaid customers in full. The order further requires the defendants to repatriate funds that were transferred to the relief defendants, which include assets currently held abroad in Yugoslavia and Belize. In addition, the order enjoins the defendants from further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and permanently prohibits them from trading commodity options, seeking registration with the CFTC, or acting in any capacity requiring CFTC registration.
The consent order settles charges against six of the thirteen defendants in CFTC v. Offshore Financial Consultants of Florida, Inc., et al. (see CFTC News Release 4652-02, June 10, 2002), and against seven of the ten relief defendants named in the action, including Liberty Foreign Investments Group Inc., Coin Bank, TDD Enterprises, Coin Financial, Amerogroup Limited, Capital Recovery Systems Inc., and PDT International Inc. All relief defendants are owned and controlled by defendants Fasciana and Russo.
The Florida Office of Financial Regulation, the Florida Comptroller’s Office, the Office of the State’s Attorney, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, the Louisiana Attorney General, the Louisiana Department of Justice, the Georgia Office of Consumer Affairs and the Federal Bureau of Investigation provided invaluable assistance to the CFTC in its investigation and litigation of this case.
The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff were responsible for this case: Lael Campbell, Mary Kaminski, Vincent McGonagle, Karon Powell, Charles Ricci, Michael Lee, and Paul Hayeck, and Joan Manley.
A copy of the CFTC’s first amended complaint and the consent order may be obtained at www.cftc.gov.
Media Enforcement Contact:
Paul G. Hayeck, Associate Director
CFTC Division of Enforcement
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