Release Number 8493-22
CFTC Charges Florida-Based Entities and Individuals with Multi-Million Dollar Futures and Forex Fraud
February 07, 2022
Washington, D.C. — The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced that it has filed a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against The W Trade Group LLC, Larry Ramos Mendoza of Miami, Florida, and Joseph Carvajales also of Miami, Florida, charging them with fraud and misappropriation of over $19 million involving futures, forex and options.
In the on-going litigation, the CFTC seeks restitution, disgorgement, civil monetary penalties, trading and registration bans, and injunctions against further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations, as charged.
The complaint alleges that W Trade Group LLC, acting under Ramos’ control, operated a long-running scheme from approximately June 2013 through June 2020 that defrauded futures, forex, and options customers. W Trade Group and Ramos are alleged to have misappropriated more than $19 million from at least 220 customers. In order to further this scheme, W Trade Group and Ramos allegedly sent false account statements to customers electronically showing purported profits and trading activity, when in fact none existed.
The complaint also states that Carvajales, in conjunction with W Trade Group and Ramos, fraudulently solicited customers for the fraudulent scheme by making false claims such as the existence of a sophisticated trading algorithm, and limited downside risk.
The Division of Enforcement thanks and acknowledges the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.
The Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Kevin Samuel, Eugenia Vroustouris, Alison B. Wilson, and Rick Glaser.
CFTC Foreign Currency (Forex) Fraud Advisory
The CFTC has issued several customer protection Fraud Advisories and Articles that provide the warning signs of fraud, including the Foreign Currency (Forex) Trading Fraud Advisory, which alerts customers to forex fraud and lists simple ways to spot forex scams.
The CFTC also strongly urges the public to verify a company’s registration with the CFTC before committing funds. If unregistered, a customer should be wary of providing funds to that entity. A company’s registration status can be found using NFA BASIC.
Customers and other individuals can report suspicious activities or information, such as possible violations of commodity trading laws, to the Division of Enforcement via a toll-free hotline 866-FON-CFTC (866-366-2382), file a tip or complaint online, or contact the Whistleblower Office. Whistleblowers are eligible to receive between 10 and 30 percent of the monetary sanctions collected paid from the Customer Protection Fund financed through monetary sanctions paid to the CFTC by violators of the CEA.