COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION CHARGES NEW JERSEY FOREIGN CURRENCY FUTURES
FIRM WITH DEFRAUDING COMMODITIES CUSTOMERS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced the filing of an enforcement action in the United States District Court in Newark, New Jersey on January 8, 2004, against defendants Clearview Capital Management, Inc. (Clearview) and James I. Weiss, Managing Director of Clearview, both of Fort Lee, N.J.
The CFTC’s complaint alleges that the defendants fraudulently solicited the public to purchase foreign currency futures contracts on English- and Russian-language Internet websites, as well as in emails responding to the inquiries of potential customers. The complaint further alleges that Clearview and Weiss solicited accounts from at least 42 customers since July 2002.
According to the complaint, the defendants falsely claimed that Clearview had an established record of trading success, with annual returns since 1998 ranging from 36.8 percent to 79.1 percent, when, in fact, the company was founded only in July 2002, after which Clearview consistently lost money for its customers. The complaint also charges that the defendants created a fictitious background to lend credibility to Clearview’s “chief trader,” Weiss, asserting that Weiss had an extensive and successful professional background in foreign currency trading, when, the complaint asserts, Weiss lacked any foreign currency trading experience. As further alleged, the defendants misled customers by creating the false impression that Clearview’s only compensation came from an incentive fee on customers’ profits, when, in fact, Clearview was receiving a “rebate” on every customer trade, profitable or not.
The CFTC is seeking a permanent injunction against each defendant, repayment to defrauded customers, the return of all ill-gotten gains from each defendant, and monetary penalties for each violation of the Commodity Exchange Act.
The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this case: Michael Amakor, Patricia Gomersall, Jack Barrett, and Todd Kelly.
# # #