Release: 5384-07

For Release: September 18, 2007

Minnesota Federal Court Orders the Release of Frozen Assets for the Payment of Restitution to Defrauded Customers in Action Brought by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that on September 5, 2007, Judge Michael J. Davis of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota re-opened the case of CFTC v. Sovereign Resource Management, Inc., et al., No. 02-CV-1783 (D. Minn.) against defendant Anthony J. Heppner, formerly of Theilman, Minnesota. The order authorizes the use of $209,127.10 in funds realized from the sale of Heppner’s home for the payment of restitution to 38 customers that Heppner had fraudulently solicited.

This action stems from a complaint filed by the CFTC on July 18, 2002, which charged Heppner and others with fraudulently soliciting customers to invest in a Grenadian corporation called Sovereign Resource Management, Inc. that would pool their funds to trade foreign currency futures (forex) contracts on their behalf. Heppner was alleged to have fraudulently solicited funds from 38 participants and with having misappropriated $52,075 from them (see CFTC Press Release 4677-02, July 24, 2002).

On December 5, 2005, Judge Davis entered a permanent injunction against Heppner and ordered him to pay restitution of $228,028 to the customers he had defrauded. Heppner’s home recently was sold and a total of $209,127.10 was left after his mortgage was satisfied. Pursuant to Judge Davis’ September 5 order, those funds are now made available for distribution to Heppner’s customers.

The following Division of Enforcement staff members were responsible for this case: Susan B. Padove, Thomas J. Koprowski, Mary Beth Spear, Scott R. Williamson, Rosemary Hollinger, and Richard Wagner.

Media Contacts
Ianthe Zabel

Dennis Holden

Last Updated: September 17, 2007