For Release: December 8, 2003
To view Emerald Worldwide complaint, click here.
To view Emerald Worldwide ExParte order, click here.
LOS ANGELES-AREA FOREIGN CURRENCY (FOREX) FIRM EMERALD WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS, INC., CHARGED WITH DEFRAUDING MORE THAN 300 CUSTOMERS OF OVER $4.7 MILLION IN COMMODITY SCAM
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Also Charges Jan Lu Hao and Jian Zhuang in Scheme to Defraud
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that on November 18, 2003, a federal district court judge in Los Angeles, California, acting on a CFTC complaint filed the previous day, issued an order freezing the assets and preventing the destruction of the books and records of Los Angeles County defendants Emerald Worldwide Holdings, Inc.; Jian Zhuang of City of Industry, California; and Jan Lu Hao of Rowland Heights, California.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that since at least March 2002, Emerald, Hao, and Zhuang defrauded at least 300 retail customers by misappropriating more than $4.7 million solicited from customers for purported opportunities to speculate on the value of foreign currencies. According to the complaint, the defendants misappropriated the funds for their own benefit and did no trading on behalf of customers. In addition, through its solicitation material and website, Emerald falsely claimed to be registered with the CFTC and affiliated with entities registered with the Commission in an attempt to establish its legitimacy, according to the complaint. Emerald was not registered with the Commission and was not affiliated with any of the registered entities.
The CFTC is seeking a permanent injunction against each defendant, repayment to defrauded customers, the return of all ill-gotten gains from the defendants and relief defendants, and monetary penalties for each violation of the Commodity Exchange Act.
The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this case: Jamie Brown, Christine Ryall, John Dunfee, Jack Barrett, Patricia Gomersall, Paul Hayeck, and Joan Manley.
A copy of the CFTC complaint and restraining order may be obtained at www.cftc.gov.
Media Case Enforcement Contact:
Paul G. Hayeck, Associate Director
CFTC Division of Enforcement
* * * * * *
The CFTC Has Issued A Consumer Advisory Warning the Public of the Risks of Foreign Currency Trading and Foreign Currency Scams
The CFTC has issued a Consumer Advisory (at www.cftc.gov/cftc/cftccustomer.htm) urging the public to scrutinize claims of high-return, low-risk investment opportunities in foreign currency trading. This Consumer Advisory provides "red flags" to look for, and cautionary steps to be taken before making an investment. The CFTC has also issued Advisories concerning the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, and how FOREX firms may lawfully offer foreign currency futures and options trading opportunities to the retail public (see CFTC Press Release 4625-02, March 21, 2002, CFTC Advisory, March 21, 2002, and CFTC Advisory 06-01, February 5, 2001).
# # #