Release: #4108-98 (Civ 98-70169)

For Release: February 17, 1998


WASHINGTON -- The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that on February 13, 1998, it filed a five-count civil injunctive complaint against Thomas W. Lamar of Waterford, Michigan, in the U.S District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Lamar has never been registered with the CFTC.

The CFTC complaint alleges that from March 1989 through October 1996, Lamar defrauded at least 85 investors who had invested a total of at least $2 million in the Lamar Investments Group (LIG), a commodity futures trading pool Lamar operated in and around Troy, Michigan, as well as in California, Illinois, and Minnesota. Lamar lost at least $1.3 million of the pool's funds trading commodity futures contracts and misappropriated approximately $560,000 for his own personal use, the CFTC complaint alleges.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that, in operating the LIG commodity pool, Lamar violated the anti-fraud provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act by, among other things:

concealing significant losses in his trading for the commodity pool;

issuing fraudulent monthly account statements which misrepresented the status of the investors' accounts by falsely reporting non-existent balances and profits; and

misappropriating funds received from investors.

Finally, the complaint alleges that Lamar acted as a commodity pool operator and commodity trading advisor without being registered as such with the CFTC and that he illegally accepted funds in his own name and commingled pool assets with his own funds.

In its action against Lamar, the CFTC is seeking a permanent civil injunction, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, and restitution to investors.

Criminal Indictment Returned Against Lamar

In a related matter, a seven-count criminal indictment against Lamar was returned on February 12, 1998 by a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Michigan based upon the same underlying conduct. United States Attorney Saul A. Green announced that the felony indictment charges Lamar with criminal violations of the Commodity Exchange Act, money laundering and mail and wire fraud in connection with his fraudulent activities.