For Release: April 7, 2009
Federal Court Issues Preliminary Injunction Against Two Nevada Corporations in $20 Million Commodity Pool Ponzi Scheme Operated by Tennessee Resident, Dennis Bolze
Court Freezes Assets of Centurion Asset Management and Advanced Trading Services; Bolze Is Arrested
Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that on April 1, 2009, a federal court judge in Knoxville, Tennessee issued a preliminary injunction against defendant Centurion Asset Management, Inc. (Centurion) and relief defendant Advanced Trading Services, Inc. (ATS), both located in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Judge Thomas A. Varlan issued the order that freezes the assets of Centurion and ATS and prohibits Centurion from further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act, as charged. The court determined that the preliminary injunction was necessary to protect the public from further loss and damage and to enable the CFTC to fulfill its statutory duties.
The order stems from a CFTC complaint filed on March 3, 2009, charging Dennis Bolze of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and Centurion, with fraud and misappropriation in operating a $20 million commodity pool Ponzi scheme. (See CFTC v. Bolze, et. al., No. 09 C 88 [E.D. Tenn. 2009] and CFTC Press Release 5634-09, March 12, 2009).
As alleged, Bolze and Centurion operated a Ponzi scheme for at least six years that defrauded more than 100 investors and caused approximately $20 million in investor losses. ATS was charged as a relief defendant for receiving funds from defendants to which it was not entitled. Bolze and Centurion told investors that they were pooling and investing customer money in S&P 500 and NASDAQ 100 stock index commodity futures, but instead misappropriated most of the funds, according to the complaint.
Bolze Arrested on March 12
On March 12, 2009, Bolze was arrested in Pennsylvania by federal authorities in connection with a related criminal complaint. However, Bolze was in the custody of the U.S. Marshal’s Service at the time of the March 31 hearing. As a result, Judge Varlan’s preliminary injunctive order did not address the CFTC’s charges against him.
In the continuing litigation, the CFTC is seeking permanent injunctive relief, return of funds to defrauded participants, repayment of ill-gotten gains, civil penalties, and other equitable relief.
The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff are responsible for this case: Jon J. Kramer, Diane M. Romaniuk, Michael Tallarico, Mary Beth Spear, Ava M. Gould, Scott R. Williamson, Rosemary Hollinger, and Richard B. Wagner.
Last Updated: April 7, 2009