COURT FINDS THAT FLORIDA RESIDENT AND TWO COMPANIES DEFRAUDED CUSTOMERS IN FOREIGN CURRENCY OPTIONS SCAM
Michael Dippolito, MAD Financial, Inc., and CTU, Inc. Agree to Pay Civil Penalty for Defrauding Investors
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today the recent entry of a Consent Order Concerning Civil Monetary Penalty (order) in the CFTC's case in United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Michael A. Dippolito (Dippolito), Myers Arnold and Davidson Financial, Inc. (MAD), and Cooper Thomas and Unger, Inc. (CTU), ordering them to pay more than $229,000 in civil penalties.
The order follows an earlier entry of Default Judgment for Permanent Injunction and Other Ancillary Relief against the defendants, which required Dippolito, MAD, and CTU to pay restitution and disgorge all benefits obtained from their illegal activities (see CFTC News Release 4641-02, May 15, 2002). The case stems from a complaint filed by the CFTC in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida on February 19, 2002 (see CFTC News Release 4611-02, February 27, 2002).
The order finds that defendants offered to sell to customers, at the original price, blocks of foreign currency options contracts that the defendants claimed they had pre-purchased and that had already appreciated in value or that were poised to move dramatically in value due to known market conditions. According to the order, defendants, in their sales pitches, urged customers to invest immediately to realize extraordinary profits. Furthermore, the order finds that customers were directed to send checks to purchase those options, and that, in some cases, MAD and CTU cashed customer checks at a local check-cashing agency in Florida. Instead of using the customer funds to trade options, the order continues, MAD, CTU, and Dippolito used more than $125,000 for personal expenses such as hotels, entertainment, automobiles, and furniture.
Defendant Dippolito entered into the order after serving time in a Florida state penitentiary on related criminal charges. The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this case: Karon Powell, and Timothy J. Mulreany.
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