For Release: January 24, 2007
Georgia Hedge Fund, Renaissance Asset Management, LLC, and its Atlanta-based Chief Operating Officer Charged in Federal Court with Commodity Pool Fraud
Fund Purportedly Held $32 Million in Assets
Washington, D.C.— The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today the filing of a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia against Renaissance Asset Management, LLC (RAM), a Georgia company headquartered in Roswell, Georgia, and its chief operating officer, Anthony Ramunno, Jr., of Atlanta. The matter is pending before the Honorable Jack T. Camp, U.S. District Judge. Today, Judge Camp issued a restraining order that prohibits defendants from destroying documents or denying CFTC staff access to books and records. The order also freezes the assets of all the defendants.
According to the CFTC complaint, RAM has been registered with the CFTC as a commodity pool operator (CPO) and commodity trading advisor (CTA) since September 2005, and Ramunno served as its chief operating officer and manager of trading funds. Since at least June 2005, RAM and Ramunno have received investor funds and operated a commodity pool sequentially under the names RAM 1 LLP and RAM 1 LLC.
Last week, the National Futures Association (NFA) commenced an emergency audit of RAM based on a potential RAM investor’s suspicions regarding the Pool Annual Reports. During the audit, Ramunno purportedly provided NFA staff with copies of what he claimed were RAM’s audited Pool Annual Reports prepared by Grant Thornton LLP for 2004 and 2005 -- despite the fact that Grant Thornton LLP has never performed any services for RAM.
An internal RAM report, for the period ending December 31, 2006, reflects that there are approximately 94 investor accounts and total pool assets of at least $32 million. However, as of January 19, 2007, the NFA, in its ongoing audit, has identified only approximately $4 million of RAM assets in bank accounts and certain trading accounts. Furthermore, according to the complaint, Ramunno has contacted staff at the Atlanta FBI office and admitted to “committing fraud.”
The CFTC complaint seeks orders requiring the defendants to provide the CFTC with continuing access to books and records and to make an accounting as such information will be required to determine the actual amounts of net contributions and profits or losses. The CFTC also requests that the court issue orders of preliminary and permanent injunction against the defendants, a return of alleged ill-gotten gains, repayments to defrauded investors, monetary penalties and other relief.
The NFA, the FBI field office in Atlanta, and the Department of Justice have provided assistance in this matter. The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for the CFTC case: William P. Janulis, Mark H. Bretscher, Michael Tallarico, Cynthia Cannon, Ralph DerAsadourian, Scott Williamson, Rosemary Hollinger, and Richard B. Wagner.
Last Updated: April 6, 2007