Release Number 5995-11

March 4, 2011

Tennessee Federal Court Imposes More than $49.7 Million in Monetary Sanctions on Dennis R. Bolze and His Company, Centurion Asset Management, Inc. for Fraud and Misappropriation in Commodity Pool Ponzi Scheme

Bolze was sentenced to 27 years, 3 months imprisonment in a criminal proceeding for the same fraudulent scheme.

Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) obtained a federal court order imposing more than $49.7 million restitution and civil monetary penalties on defendants Dennis R. Bolze of Gatlinburg, Tenn., and his Las Vegas-based company, Centurion Asset Management, Inc. (Centurion). The order requires the defendants jointly and severally to pay $13,061,358.00 in restitution to defrauded investors and a $36,664,863.51 civil monetary penalty.

The order, entered by U.S. District Judge Curtis L. Collier of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee on March 2, 2011, stems from an anti-fraud enforcement action filed by the CFTC on March 3, 2009 (see CFTC Press Release 5634-09). The CFTC complaint charged Bolze and Centurion with fraudulently soliciting commodity pool participants, misappropriating participants’ funds and issuing false statements to participants in the United States and Europe. The complaint also alleged that the defendants operated the commodity pool as a Ponzi scheme, using newly received participant funds to pay purported profits and withdrawals to other participants.

In a prior permanent injunction order entered by the court on July 6, 2010, Judge Collier permanently banned the defendants from engaging in any commodity-related activity, including trading and applying for registration with the CFTC. The court’s order found that, from about April 2002 through the end of 2008, defendants fraudulently solicited and accepted approximately $20 million from at least 100 investors. The order held that the defendants made fraudulent misrepresentations regarding the profitability of Centurion, Bolze’s criminal record and the identity of Centurion’s president. The order further found that Bolze had misappropriated participants’ funds for his own use and benefit and operated the commodity pool in a manner akin to a Ponzi scheme.

In a related criminal proceeding on August 26, 2010, Judge Varlan of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee sentenced Bolze to 327 months (27 years, 3 months) of imprisonment. On October 5, 2010, the court entered final criminal judgment against Bolze, who is currently incarcerated in federal prison.

The CFTC Division of Enforcement staff responsible for this case are Jon J. Kramer, Diane M. Romaniuk, Mary Beth Spear, Michael Tallarico, Ava M. Gould, Scott R. Williamson, Rosemary Hollinger and Richard B. Wagner.

Media Contact
Dennis Holden

Last Updated: March 4, 2011