Release: 4941-04 (04 CV-4079)
FEDERAL COURT ORDERS CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS TO PAY MORE THAN $800,000 IN COMMODITY FRAUD ACTION
Court Orders Defendants Paris DeLesseppes and John E. Lassen to Repay Over $333,000 to Investors and Pay Civil Monetary Penalties Totaling $480,000
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that the United States District Court for the Central District of California has issued orders of permanent injunction ordering repayment of customer funds and imposing civil penalties and other sanctions against defendants Paris DeLesseppes of Beverly Hills, California, and John E. Lassen of Simi Valley, California.
The orders, entered on May 21, 2004, and May 28, 2004, settle charges against two of the four defendants in CFTC v. EuroBancorp, et al. (see CFTC News Release 4756-03, February 13, 2003). Previously, the court entered default judgments of permanent injunction and ancillary relief against defendants Global Interbank, Inc. and EuroBancorp, directing them to pay approximately $500,000 to defrauded customers and imposing $360,000 in civil penalties.
The CFTC complaint, filed on February 3, 2003, alleged that between March and December 2001, EuroBancorp, DeLesseppes, and Lassen fraudulently solicited members of the retail public to purchase foreign currency futures contracts by making false representations about the likelihood of profits and minimizing the risk of foreign currency futures trading. According to the complaint, for example, on their website the defendants provided testimonials from two “investors,” one claiming a 34 percent return on his investment in three months, and the other claiming a 45 percent return over an unspecified period of time. As alleged, these particular “investors,” however, never traded foreign currency futures through EuroBancorp. In addition, according to the complaint, the defendants made false oral and written statements to their customers regarding the general profitability of their foreign currency futures trading, when in fact, their trading generally resulted in losses. The defendants were also charged with illegally offering off-exchange futures contracts to members of the retail public.
The orders require DeLesseppes and Lassen to repay defrauded
customers $333,769 and to pay civil monetary penalties totaling
$480,000. The orders also enjoin DeLesseppes and Lassen from
further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act, as alleged in
the complaint, and permanently prohibit them from trading
commodity futures contracts and from seeking registration with
the CFTC or acting in any capacity requiring CFTC registration.
In consenting to these settlements, DeLesseppes and Lassen
neither admitted nor denied the allegations of the complaint or
the findings in the order.
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