September 28, 2011
CFTC Charges Alpha Trade Group, S.A. and Six Individuals with Fraud and Misappropriation in Connection with a $1.7 Million Foreign Currency and Futures Scheme
Defendants are based in Orlando, Florida, and in Panama and Mexico.
Washington, DC – The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida charging defendants Alpha Trade Group, S.A. (ATG) a/k/a Revolution Network Ltd., of Panama, Jose Cecilio Martinez Beltran (Martinez), Welinton Bautista Castillo (Bautista), Maria Alvarez Gutierrez (Gutierrez), Yehodiz Padua Valentin (Padua), and Maria Asela Rodriguez (Rodriguez) all of Orlando, Fla., and Francisco Amaury Suero Matos (Suero) of Mexico, with operating a fraudulent $1.7 million off-exchange foreign currency (forex) and commodity futures scheme and misappropriation of customer funds. The defendants allegedly solicited and/or accepted money from U.S. customers, primarily Florida, California, and Puerto Rico residents.
The CFTC complaint, filed on September 27, 2011, alleges that from at least April to December 2009 Martinez, Bautista, Padua, and Suero operated ATG, an unregistered commodity pool operator, and fraudulently solicited pool participants to invest in ATG’s associated commodity pools, Orsa Investment Group, L.L.C. (Orsa) and Online Marketing Solutions (OMS), that would invest in the forex and futures markets, among other investments. To induce pool participants to invest, ATG, Martinez, Bautista, Padua, and Suero guaranteed pool participants that their principal investments were risk-free and would earn steady monthly returns – even as much 12.5 percent to 25.5 percent per month, according to the complaint.
The complaint further alleges that to perpetuate the fraud, Martinez, Bautista, Padua, and Suero prepared false online account statements that purportedly show the monthly returns as promised. In fact, however, only a small portion of the funds invested in the Orsa and/or the OMS pools was sent to a forex company located in Anguilla, and, on information and belief, none of the funds were used to trade futures, according to the complaint. Rather, the defendants allegedly misappropriated at least several hundred thousand dollars of pool participant funds for their own personal benefit, including financing international trips to Spain, Switzerland, and Panama.
In its continuing litigation, the CFTC seeks a return of ill-gotten gains, restitution to defrauded customers, civil monetary penalties, trading and registration bans, and permanent injunctions against further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act.
The CFTC appreciates the assistance of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, as well as the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida. The CFTC also thanks Germany’s Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin), the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), and Spain’s Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV).
CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Kim Bruno, Amanda Harding, Michael Loconte, Randolph Lam, Kathleen Banar, Erica Bodin, Stephanie Horne, Ted Kneller, Rick Glaser, and Richard Wagner.
Last Updated: September 28, 2011