MESA, ARIZONA PONZI SCHEME OPERATOR, RONALD STEPHEN HOLT, HELD IN CIVIL CONTEMPT FOR REFUSING TO REVEAL LOCATION OF VICTIMS' FUNDS
Court Orders Holt Jailed After 'Show Cause' Hearing; Action Stems from CFTC Anti-Fraud Charges Brought Against Holt in September 2003
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that Judge Paul G. Rosenblatt of the U.S. District Court District of the District of Arizona recently entered an order against Ronald Stephen Holt (Holt) of Mesa, Arizona, a defendant in a CFTC anti-fraud action in the same court, finding him in civil contempt for failing to comply with the court's September 29, 2003, order of preliminary injunction entered against Holt, as well as for violations of the court’s receivership order.
The court’s civil contempt order was entered as part of consolidated contempt proceedings brought by the Commission with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which also filed suit against Holt for securities fraud in the same court before Judge Rosenblatt.
Holt Ordered Jailed Until He Accounts For $3 Million in Customer Funds and Dismisses Frivolous Lawsuits He Filed
The court ordered Holt jailed immediately until he accounts for all receivership assets, believed to total at least $25 million, including $3 million in customer funds. To date, the CFTC and the SEC have jointly worked with the court-appointed Receiver, Lawrence Warfield, and his counsel, Gutilla & Murphy, to seize nearly $1.5 million of stolen customer funds; the remaining funds are unaccounted for.
Additionally, Holt was ordered to dismiss three federal lawsuits and five Maricopa County, Arizona lawsuits, required to vest the Receiver with clear title to various vehicles Holt purchased with victims' funds, and enjoined from filing any litigation or other proceeding against the Receiver or his agents.
This matter arose from a two-count enforcement action filed last year by the CFTC in the same court against Holt, International Funding Association (IFA), Global Management Group, Inc. (GMG) and Cambridge Global Group (Cambridge) (defendants), charging that since 1997, Holt and his companies had defrauded customers of as much as $25 million by claiming returns of seven percent to 10 percent per month, when the defendants, instead, allegedly misappropriated most customer funds. The complaint also charged Holt and his companies with offering illegal off-exchange futures contracts to the public. (See CFTC News Release 4841-03, September 22, 2003.)
Holt has been ordered jailed in the federal detention facility in Florence, Arizona, until he fully complies with the court’s previous preliminary injunction and receivership orders entered in both the CFTC and SEC lawsuits.
The CFTC acknowledges the ongoing cooperation and assistance of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Ft. Worth, Texas, Office, in prosecuting Holt.
The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this case: Timothy J. Mulreany, Robert Hildum, Mary Kaminski, and Paul Hayeck.
A copy of the CFTC complaint, restraining order, and contempt order may be obtained at www.cftc.gov.
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