For Release: December 19, 2008
Connecticut Federal Court Orders Argentine Trader Diego Mariano Rolando to Pay More Than $10 Million in CFTC Anti-Fraud Action
Court Also Orders Release of More Than $23 Million in Frozen Customer Funds Held at U.S. Clearing Firm
Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut entered a default judgment order against Diego Mariano Rolando, a citizen of Argentina, finding that he committed commodity futures and options fraud, requiring him to pay more than $10 million in civil monetary penalties and restitution, and ordering a U.S. futures commission merchant (FCM) to release more than $23 million of frozen customer funds to Rolando’s investors.
Specifically, the order finds that, from 2005 through 2007, Rolando operated a fraudulent investment scheme in which he solicited more than $34 million from hundreds of customers residing in the United States and around the world. According to the order, Rolando engaged in fraudulent unauthorized trading in customers' accounts, used false customer information to open accounts in order to control the flow of information between the FCM and his customers, and provided false account statements to customers to hide trading losses he was incurring in their accounts.
The order also finds that Rolando made numerous material misrepresentations and omissions to customers about their investments including:
- falsely representing to customers that his investment system focused on conservative growth in highly rated stocks on the U.S. markets when, in reality, the majority of customer funds were used to trade highly speculative futures and options;
- falsely representing that IA Trading, a phony company set up by Rolando, was a sophisticated financial operation complete with its own trading platform and was affiliated with a U.S. clearing firm.; and
- falsely representing that, on December 4, 2007, the value of customer accounts aggregated approximately $40 million when, in reality, the collective value of customer accounts as of that date was only approximately $23 million.
The order stems from a CFTC complaint filed against Rolando (a/k/a Roclerman and ROC db/a IA Trading.com Inc.) on January 15, 2008 (see CFTC Press Release, 5437-08, January 16, 2008).
The order permanently enjoins Rolando from violating certain provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act and bans Rolando from trading on markets subject to CFTC jurisdiction or engaging in any conduct requiring CFTC registration. Further, the court ordered that the more than $23 million frozen by the Court at the outset of this case, along with the restitution awarded, be returned to customers by Daniel R. Alonso, the court-appointed receiver, through the receiver’s equitable plan of distribution.
The CFTC wishes to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut for its assistance in this matter.
The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this case: Jo Mettenburg, Braden Perry, Charles Marvine, Ken McCracken, Rick Glaser, and Richard Wagner.
R. David Gary
Last Updated: December 22, 2008