Release: 5414-07

For Release: November 15, 2007

CFTC Charges Elizabeth Baldwin, Of Newport, Rhode Island, With Fraudulently Soliciting & Obtaining More Than $500,000 To Trade Commodity Futures

New York Federal Court Issues Order Freezing Baldwin’s Assets and Prohibiting Her from Destroying Documents

Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced the filing of a civil enforcement action against Elizabeth Baldwin of Newport, Rhode Island, charging her with fraudulently soliciting and obtaining more than $500,000 from members of the general public to trade commodity futures.

Based on the CFTC’s complaint, the Honorable Deborah A. Batts of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, issued an Order freezing Baldwin’s assets and prohibiting the destruction of business records.

Baldwin Allegedly Defrauded Commodity Pool Participants To Trade E-Mini S&P 500, 10-Year Notes, and 30-Year Bond Futures Contracts

The complaint alleges that, from at least January 2004 to the present, Baldwin, doing business in her name and in the name of the Newportant Group, fraudulently solicited and obtained more than $500,000 from members of the general public to invest in a commodity pool. As alleged in the complaint, Baldwin represented to at least one pool participant that their funds would be pooled for the purpose of trading futures contracts and that the pool had been making monthly profits from 3 to 10 percent. The complaint further alleges that these statements were false because the pool lost money trading in all but one month.

According to the CFTC’s complaint, Baldwin fraudulently represented to customers that their funds would be held in segregated trading accounts at futures commission merchants. However, the complaint alleges, Baldwin maintained trading accounts in her own name only and never maintained an account at the futures commission merchants in the name of the pool.

The complaint also alleges that Baldwin provided pool participants with false monthly account statements and illegally acted as a commodity pool operator without being registered with the CFTC.

The CFTC appreciates the assistance provided by the National Futures Association, the Rhode Island State Police, the Newport Police Department, and the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation in this matter.

The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this matter: Elizabeth Brennan, Philip Rix, Steven Ringer, Lenel Hickson, Stephen Obie, and Vincent McGonagle.

Media Contacts
Ianthe Zabel

Dennis Holden

Last Updated: November 14, 2007