For Release: January 9, 2008
Former Employee of Pompano Beach Commodity Firm, Leslie Weiner, Settles Charges that He Defrauded Commodity Options Customers
Washington, DC – The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that it settled fraud charges against Pompano Beach, Florida, resident Leslie Weiner, a former employee of Liberty Financial Trading Corp., Inc. (LFTC) and Liberty Real Assets Investment Corporation (LRAIC). Weiner is required to pay a $100,000 civil monetary penalty and $70,000 in restitution to defrauded customers of LFTC and LRAIC. He is also permanently banned from engaging in any commodity-related activity, including trading on any registered entity, soliciting funds, or controlling or directing the trading of commodity interest accounts.
The consent order, entered on January 8, 2008, by the Honorable Joan A. Lenard of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, stems from a complaint filed by the CFTC on September 21, 2004, alleging that LFTC, its successor corporation, LRAIC, and Weiner, among other brokers, fraudulently solicited customers to open accounts and trade commodity options. (See CFTC Press Release 5032-04, December 27, 2004).
The order finds that Weiner, while acting as an Associated Person of LFTC, and later LRAIC, made false and misleading sales solicitations by misrepresenting the likelihood of profits from trading commodity options; failing to disclose adequately the risk of loss inherent in trading commodity options; failing to disclose, in light of the profit representations he was making, the fact of LFTC’s and LRAIC’s dismal performance record trading commodity options for their customers; and misrepresenting the actual performance record of customers’ accounts.
Earlier, on April 24, 2007, the court issued a consent order against LFTC, LRAIC, and Ted Romeo, finding that they engaged in similar violations (see CFTC Press Release 5333-07, May 7, 2007). That order required LFTC and LRAIC to pay $9.783 million in restitution to customers. Of that amount, Romeo was jointly and severally liable for $300,000. Additionally, that order assessed civil monetary penalties against LFTC in the amount of $6 million, against LRAIC in the amount of $500,000, and against Romeo in the amount of $120,000.
The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this case: Alan Edelman, James Holl III, Lacey Dingman, Gretchen Lowe, and Vincent A. McGonagle.
Last Updated: January 10, 2008