RELEASE Number
5316-07

Release: 5316-07

For Release: April 12, 2007

New York Federal Court Judgment Concludes Multi-Million Dollar Foreign Currency (Forex) Fraud Action Brought by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Miami Area Resident Lyle Wexler Ordered to Pay More Than $1 Million in Restitution and Civil Monetary Penalties

Washington, D.C.— The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that on April 10, 2007, the Honorable William H. Pauley, III of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a consent order of permanent injunction against Miami, Florida area resident Lyle Wexler settling charges that the defendant fraudulently solicited customers to purchase foreign currency (forex) options contracts.

The order stems from a CFTC complaint filed on May 19, 2005 (see CFTC News Release 5079-05, May 25, 2005), charging that, from at least December 2003 to December 2004, Melvin and Larry Webman (the Webmans), along with Webman-controlled companies International Forex Advisory Group (IFA Group) and Worldwide Currencies Corp. (Worldwide), and Lyle Wexler, who was employed as a broker at both companies, fraudulently solicited customers to purchase forex options by misrepresenting and misleading customers and potential customers about the profit potential of such contracts.

Specifically, the order finds that from April 2004 through November 2004, Wexler induced existing customers of IFA Group and Worldwide to buy and sell off-exchange options on foreign currency by knowingly making false and misleading representations through fraudulent solicitations. Wexler solicited from these customers a total of $959,677. As a result of Wexler’s fraudulent solicitations, customers lost a total of $822,798.00, while Wexler received a total of $139,810 as his share of commission revenue generated from his solicitations.

The Court ordered Wexler to pay $822,798.00 in restitution to defrauded customers and imposed on Wexler a civil monetary penalty of $280,000. Additionally, the order imposed permanent trading and registration bans and a permanent injunction on Wexler.

On November 5, 2005, the Court entered a default judgment against IFA Group and Worldwide ordering, among other things, that IFA Group and Worldwide are permanently enjoined from violating the Act and ordering IFA Group to pay a civil monetary penalty of $3,178,530.00 and restitution in the amount of $2,701,960. Additionally, the Court ordered Worldwide to pay a civil monetary penalty of $526,470.00 and restitution in the amount $255,952.

On July 10, 2006, the Court entered a consent order of permanent injunction against the Webmans ordering, among other things, that they are permanently enjoined from violating the Act, ordering them to pay restitution in the amount of $2,957,912.00, and ordering each to pay a civil monetary penalty of $500,000 (see CFTC News Release 5201-06, November 5, 2006).

The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this case: John J. Cipriani, David Acevedo, Lenel Hickson, Jr., Stephen J. Obie and Richard B. Wagner.

Media Contacts
Ianthe Zabel
202-418-5080

Dennis Holden
202-418-5088

Last Updated: April 23, 2007