FLORIDA FEDERAL COURT ORDERS HUSBAND AND WIFE THOMAS CHILCOTT AND LEONA WESTBROOK TO REPAY MORE THAN $2.1 MILLION TO CUSTOMERS INJURED IN COMMODITY FRAUD SCHEME
Court Also Orders Couple and Another Defendant To Pay $2.42 Million in Civil Penalties
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that on December 18, 2003, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida issued an order requiring Thomas Chilcott and his wife, Leona Westbrook, both of Alva, Florida, to repay customers more than $2.1 million as the result of a commodity fraud scheme they conducted, and to pay civil penalties of more than $1.43 million. The same court entered an additional order in the case on January 6, 2004, requiring defendant Ted E. Whidden to share liability for repaying injured customers, and to pay an additional civil penalty.
The court order stems from a CFTC complaint filed on March 7, 2002, charging Chilcott, Westbrook, and Whidden with, among other things, defrauding commodity pool customers in a Ponzi scheme and misappropriating their funds. Subsequently, defendants consented to the entry of permanent injunctions against them on July 18, 2002, and September 27, 2002. Each order provided that the defendants would pay restitution and a civil monetary penalty to be determined at a later date.
The supplemental consent order entered on December 18, 2003 against defendants Chilcott and Westbrook requires them to repay customers $2,107,092. The order also imposes a civil penalty of $1,320,000 upon Chilcott and requires Westbrook to pay a contingent civil penalty of $110,000 for her role in the Ponzi scheme.
Defendant Whidden Ordered to Pay $990,000 In Civil Penalties
The order entered on January 6, 2004 found Whidden to be jointly and severally liable with defendants Chilcott and Westbrook to repay customers $2.1 million. In addition, the order directs Whidden to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $990,000.
The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members were responsible for this case: Eugene Smith, Peter Haas, Ken Koh, and Paul Hayeck.
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