For Release: November 20, 2003
CALIFORNIA FOREIGN CURRENCY (FOREX) FIRM SUED FOR DEFRAUDING INVESTORS OUT OF APPROXIMATELY $2 MILLION IN COMMODITY SCAM
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Charges FX First, Inc., Alexey Mironov, and William Whyte With Commodity Scam In Foreign Currency Futures; Federal District Court Judge Orders Defendants’ Assets Frozen and Issues Preliminary Injunction
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that on October 6, 2003, Judge James V. Selna of the U. S. District Court for the Central District of California, acting on a CFTC complaint filed earlier that day, issued an order freezing the assets and preventing the destruction of the books and records of defendants FX First, Inc., Alexey Mironov both of Newport Beach, California, and William Whyte of Huntington Beach, California. The order also requires an accounting of defendants' assets.
Court Enters Preliminary Injunction Against Defendants
On October 15, 2003, the Honorable James V. Selna issued an order of preliminary injunction, which, among other things, enjoins all the defendants from further violations of federal commodity law and continues the asset freeze order entered on October 6, 2003.
Complaint Alleges that Defendants Misappropriated Almost $2 Million of Customer Funds
Specifically, the CFTC's complaint alleges that, since at least September 26, 2003, and perhaps as early as January 2001, FX First, a futures commission merchant (FCM), and Mironov and Whyte, two of its principals, misappropriated almost $2 million that had been given to the firm by customers for the purpose of speculating on the value of foreign currency (forex) futures contracts. According to the complaint, despite requests from at least 25 investors for a return of their funds, defendants refused to return customer money. The complaint further alleges that FX First was almost $2 million below the minimum amount of net capital required by federal law to operate as an FCM.
In its continuing litigation against defendants, the CFTC is seeking permanent injunctive relief, payment of investor losses, repayment of ill-gotten gains, and monetary penalties.
The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for bringing this case: Frank Rangoussis, Karen Kenmotsu, Jack Barrett, Elizabeth Padgett, Jed Silversmith, Richard Glaser, and Richard Wagner.
A copy of the CFTC complaint and restraining order may be obtained at www.cftc.gov.
CFTC Division of Enforcement Media contact:
Richard Glaser, Associate Director, CFTC Division of Enforcement