Release Number 7196-15

July 10, 2015

Federal Court Orders North Carolina Resident Carl David Wright to Pay a $1 Million Civil Penalty for Commodity Pool Fraud

In a parallel criminal action in 2014, Wright was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to pay $817,975 as restitution

Washington, DC - The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that the Honorable Richard L. Voorhees of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina entered a Supplemental Order imposing a $1 million civil monetary penalty against Defendant Carl David Wright, of Iron Station, North Carolina, for operating a commodity pool fraud in violation of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA). The Court previously on October 28, 2013, entered a Consent Order finding that Wright committed fraud in connection with a commodity pool Ponzi scheme. The Consent Order also imposes a permanent trading and registration ban on Wright and prohibits him from violating the Commodity Exchange Act, as charged.

The Court’s Orders arise out of the CFTC enforcement action filed on June 24, 2013, charging Wright with violating the anti-fraud provisions of the CEA by fraudulently soliciting and accepting at least $1 million from approximately 16 customers (see CFTC Complaint and Press Release 6618-13). According to the Consent Order, although Wright told participants that their funds would be invested in a variety of investments, including commodity futures, he in fact misappropriated most of the funds, using them to pay personal expenses and to make so-called profit payments to participants.

The CFTC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina in this matter. In a parallel criminal action based upon the same underlying facts, District Judge Robert C. Conrad of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina in October 2014 sentenced Wright to four years in prison and ordered Wright to pay $817,975 as restitution to injured customers (United States of America v. Wright, No. 13-cr-186).

The CFTC cautions victims that restitution orders may not result in the recovery of money lost because the wrongdoers may not have sufficient funds or assets. The CFTC will continue to fight vigorously for the protection of customers and to ensure the wrongdoers are held accountable.

CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Jennifer E. Smiley, Mary Beth Spear, Ava Gould, Scott Williamson, and Rosemary Hollinger.

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CFTC’s Commodity Pool Fraud Advisory

The CFTC has issued several customer protection Fraud Advisories that provide the warning signs of fraud, including the Commodity Pool Fraud Advisory, which warns customers about a type of fraud that involves individuals and firms, often unregistered, offering investments in commodity pools.

Customers can report suspicious activities or information, such as possible violations of commodity trading laws, to the CFTC Division of Enforcement via a Toll-Free Hotline 866-FON-CFTC (866-366-2382) or file a tip or complaint online. 

Media Contact
Dennis Holden

Last Updated: July 10, 2015