Release #4081-97 (Civ 95-6970)
For Release: November 19, 1997
FLORIDA COURT FINDS RICHARD E. MASERI IN CONTEMPT FOR HIS TRANSFER OF FROZEN ASSETS IN VIOLATION OF CONSENT ORDER OF PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION; MASERI IS ORDERED TO PAY $33,OOO
WASHINGTON -- The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that Chief Judge Edward B. Davis of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted the CFTC's motion for contempt against Richard E. Maseri of Boca Raton, Florida, a defendant in a CFTC civil enforcement action filed in October 1995. (See CFTC News Release 3877-95, November 3, 1995.)
In his order, Judge Davis found that Maseri had violated the court's October 1995 order freezing his assets by selling $33,000 worth of stock in Maseri's wholly owned company, Computer Assisted Trading, Inc., in February 1996. The court ordered Maseri to pay $33,000 into the Registry of the Court within 30 days or face additional sanctions.
The court's October 1995 order of preliminary injunction freezing
Maseri's assets stemmed from a six-count injunctive complaint filed the
same month which charged that Maseri and the firms he controlled, AIM
International, Inc. and Private Research Inc., had cheated and
defrauded customers, converted customer funds, and violated the
registration provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).
On October 14, 1997, Judge Davis granted the CFTC's motion for summary judgment against Maseri and Private Research, Inc., a Florida corporation, ruling that the CFTC was entitled to the permanent injunction it sought in its complaint filed October 16, 1995 (see CFTC News Release #4065-97, October 21, 1997). The court found, among other things, that Maseri falsely touted his own purported success through trading a commodity software program that he developed known as the CAT-FX. In his national marketing campaign, the court found that Maseri falsely maintained that he was generating substantial profits in a firm account by trading according to the CAT-FX program. Further, the court determined that Maseri's claim to a "number one ranking" for the CAT-FX, as presented in his advertising, was so misleading as to be "duplicitous."
The court also found that Maseri misled customers by highlighting his
experience at major brokerage firms while failing to disclose that he had
been discharged for cause by those same firms.
The court further found that Maseri failed to register with the CFTC as a commodity trading advisor, futures commission merchant and commodity pool operator or to provide customers with disclosure documents as required under the CEA.