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Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Office of External Affairs (202) 418-5080
Three Lafayette Centre
1155 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20581

Release: 5079-05
For Release: May 25, 2005

U.S. COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION CHARGES THREE FLORIDA MEN AND TWO COMPANIES WITH $3 MILLION FOREIGN CURRENCY OPTIONS FRAUD

Melvin Webman, Larry Webman, Lyle Wexler, International Forex Advisory Group, and Worldwide Currencies Corp. Charged with Defrauding Over 125 Customers

WASHINGTON D.C. – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today the filing of an enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Melvin Webman, Larry Webman, Lyle Wexler, all of Miami, Florida, and International Forex Advisory Group (IFA Group) and Worldwide Currencies Corp., alleging fraud in the solicitation of foreign currency (forex) options contracts. 

Specifically, the complaint, filed on May 19, 2005, alleges that from at least December 2003 to August 2004, defendants Melvin Webman, Larry Webman, IFA Group -- a company the Webmans controlled -- and Lyle Wexler, a broker employed by IFA Group, fraudulently solicited customers to purchase forex options by misrepresenting and misleading customers and potential customers about the profit potential of such contracts.  The complaint further alleges that, from July 2004 to at least December 2004, defendants Larry Webman, Worldwide Currencies -- a company controlled by Larry Webman -- and Wexler, who was also employed by Worldwide Currencies, fraudulently solicited customers to purchase forex options contracts using similarly fraudulent misrepresentations and misleading statements.  

According to the complaint, Wexler, under the Webmans’ supervision and with their knowledge, routinely misrepresented his experience as a forex broker and the performance records of the IFA Group and Worldwide Currencies. The complaint alleges that Wexler, knowing that all of his claims were materially false, induced 102 customers to invest over $2.7 million with the IFA Group, and 27 customers to invest over $366,000 with Worldwide Currencies.  As alleged, all but two of those customers lost all or substantially all of their money.  
 
The complaint also alleges that Wexler, IFA Group, and Worldwide Currencies misrepresented commission charges to customers, and that the Webmans were fully aware of, and endorsed, this practice in their capacity as controlling persons of the IFA Group and Worldwide Currencies.

"Foreign currency boiler rooms are continuing to ravage the finances of retail investors across the country.  This case is yet another example of how the Commission is vigorously prosecuting such nefarious boiler rooms and their traders, who often operate in the shadows. To protect future customers, we have devoted significant resources in an effort to close the book on this type of solicitation fraud," said Gregory Mocek, Director of the Commission's Division of Enforcement.        

In its continuing litigation, the CFTC is seeking sanctions against the defendants of a permanent injunction, restitution of customer losses, and monetary penalties.

The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this case:  John Cipriani, Stephen R. Morris, John Wise, David Acevedo, Lenel Hickson, Stephen J. Obie, and Richard Wagner. 

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Media Contacts
Alan Sobba
(202) 418-5080
Dennis Holden
(202) 418-5088
CFTC Office of External Affairs

Staff Contact
Stephen Obie
Regional Counsel and Associate Director
CFTC Division of Enforcement
646-746-9766

Related Document
Complaint