US COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION CHARGES UTAH FIRM, THREE OF ITS OFFICERS, AND A UTAH ATTORNEY WITH FRAUD
CFTC Charges Vision Capital Corporation, Officers John Garrett, Allen Andersen, Robert Heninger, and Utah Attorney John Thomas With Commodity Pool Fraud
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced that it filed a federal complaint against a Utah firm, Vision Capital Corporation (Vision), and its three officers, John Garrett, of North Salt Lake City, Utah, Allen Andersen of Riverton, Utah, and Robert Heninger, a former Utah resident currently residing in Auburn, Washington.
The complaint charges the company and the three officers with defrauding pool participants in Vision, a commodity pool they operated, and with misappropriating Vision pool participants’ funds. The CFTC’s complaint also charges Utah attorney John Thomas with fraud and misappropriation in connection with the Vision pool.
Complaint Alleges Fraudulent Solicitation Tactics and Misappropriation of Pool Funds
The CFTC’s complaint alleges, among other charges, that from at least March 2001 to March 2002, Vision Capital Corporation, Garrett, Andersen, and Heninger fraudulently solicited approximately $300,000 from seven Vision pool participants through various fraudulent solicitation tactics, including misrepresenting the Vision pool’s profit potential and risk of loss. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Garret, Andersen, and Heninger touted the Vision pool as a low-risk investment and essentially guaranteed profits of 32 percent per year. According to the complaint, rather than reap the promised profits, the Vision pool participants lost over 90 percent of their funds.
This is the second complaint the CFTC has filed against Garrett, Andersen, and Heninger. In August 2002, the CFTC filed a federal complaint in United States District Court for the District of Utah, alleging that Garrett, Andersen and Heninger fraudulently solicited approximately $700,000 from eight investors to invest in “Gahma,” another commodity pool they operated. CFTC v. Gahma Corporation, et al., Consolidated Case No. 2:00CV00622ST (D. Utah, filed August 13, 2002). The present complaint alleges that some of Vision pool participant funds, rather than being invested, were misappropriated and used to pay purported profits to investors in the Gahma pool.
Commission Also Charges Utah Attorney with Fraud
The CFTC also charges Utah attorney John Thomas with fraud and misappropriating pool participant funds, among other charges. According to the CFTC’s complaint, Thomas allegedly defrauded Vision pool participants by misrepresenting the past performance of the money managers who traded some of the Vision pool participants’ fund, and then misappropriated pool participants’ funds by paying himself 50 percent of reported profits. When Thomas learned that the reported profits had not in fact been made, he failed to return his percentage of the purported profits, the complaint alleges.
The CFTC is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctive orders enjoining future violations, an accounting, restitution to defrauded customers, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, and monetary penalties for violating the Commodity Exchange Act.
The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this case: Camille M. Arnold, Mary Elizabeth Spear, Venice Bickham, and Rosemary Hollinger.
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