FEDERAL COURT FREEZES ASSETS OF THREE RELATED SOUTH FLORIDA FIRMS AND THEIR PRINCIPAL IN ACTION ALLEGING A $14 MILLION FOREIGN CURRENCY FRAUD
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Charges Carlos Alejandro Libera Saume and His Companies with Stealing Funds of 140 Customers
WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Marra of the Southern District of Florida issued an order freezing the assets of Carlos Alejandro Libera Saume (Libera) and his companies: Asesoria Invertrust C.A., Forinex Investment Corp., and Invertrust, Inc., and ordering the repatriation of all funds in offshore accounts.
The order, entered on Tuesday, December 13, 2005, stems from a CFTC complaint filed earlier that day, alleging that since 2000, defendants fraudulently solicited and accepted more than $14 million from at least 140 customers by falsely representing that defendants previously had made large profits for their customers trading foreign currency (forex) futures contracts. As alleged, defendants represented that they would establish individual trading accounts for each customer at foreign currency trading firms, and conduct all trading on behalf of customers. According to the complaint, defendants did not, in fact, establish individual forex futures trading accounts for customers and, instead, misappropriated the customer funds for personal use, trading, and the distribution of false profits to prior customers.
The complaint also alleges that defendants, to conceal their fraudulent activities, provided customers with false account statements showing fictitious trading profits. Further, according to the complaint, defendants falsely told customers that funds were not available for withdrawal because the U.S. government froze their funds under the USA Patriot Act and an order of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
In its continuing litigation, the CFTC is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions, the return of funds to defrauded customers, repayment of ill-gotten gains, and an award of monetary penalties.
“Foreign currency fraud has been a significant focus of our enforcement program, and we continue our vigorous pursuit of those in the retail FOREX markets who cheat customers and steal their funds. As with a number of actions filed this year, we leverage our enforcement punch by cooperating with state and other federal authorities to assure that those committing forex fraud will receive the maximum available retribution,” according to Gregory Mocek, Director of Enforcement at the CFTC
On Thursday, December 15, 2005, Libera was indicted by a grand jury sitting in Miami, Florida, on charges relating to this scheme.
The CFTC appreciates the assistance of the Florida Department of Financial Services in this matter. The members of the CFTC’s Office of Cooperative Enforcement responsible for this case are: Richard Foelber, Terry Montgomery, Patricia Gomersall, and Daniel Nathan.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The CFTC encourages members of the public to bring to our attention any suspicious activities involving futures or commodity options, including matters involving foreign currency (forex) investments or suspicious Internet websites.
You may contact the CFTC at 1-866-FON-CFTC (1-866-366-2382), visit us at our Customer Protection web page: (www.cftc.gov/cftc/cftccustomer.htm), or fill out our Internet Report Form identifying your concerns (www.cftc.gov/enf/enfform.htm).
In addition, the CFTC publishes a series of Consumer Advisories at http://www.cftc.gov/cftc/cftccustomer.htm#advisory alerting the public to warning signs of possible fraudulent activity and offering precautions individuals should take before committing funds.
# # #