May 16, 2013

Federal Court in Florida Orders Defendants Philip Milton and Trade, LLC, and Four Relief Defendants to Pay Millions in Restitution, Disgorgement, and Civil Monetary Penalties for Operating a $28.4 Million Ponzi Scheme

Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that Judge Daniel Hurley of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida entered supplemental consent Orders against Defendants Philip Milton of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and Trade, LLC, based in Palm Spring Gardens, Florida, requiring Milton to pay restitution of more than $10.8 million and a $7.6 civil monetary penalty and Trade, LLC, to pay restitution of over $11.4 million and a $28.4 million civil monetary penalty for operating a multi-million dollar Ponzi commodity pool scheme (see CFTC Press Release 5848-10, July 6, 2010).

The court also required Relief Defendants BD, LLC, CMJ Capital, LLC, Center Richmond, LLC, and TWTT, LLC, all Florida corporations, to disgorge $545,200, $2,826,981.37, $1,253,862.62, and $100,000, respectively.

The CFTC filed a Complaint against Defendants Philip Milton, William Center, Gregory Center, and Trade, LLC on June 22, 2010, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The Complaint charged the Defendants with fraudulently soliciting approximately $28.4 million from at least 2,000 customers to participate in a commodity pool to trade futures and securities and with misappropriating at least $9.6 million of pool funds for their personal use and to continue the scam. The complaint also named the four Relief Defendants, all corporations owned by the individual defendants, for receiving funds as a result of the defendants’ misappropriation to which they have no legitimate entitlement.

On, April 15, 2011, the court entered a consent Order of permanent injunction against Milton and entered a similar consent order against Trade, LLC and the Relief Defendants on September 6, 2011. These consent Orders found the consenting parties liable for the fraud and misappropriation, as charged in the CFTC’s complaint, and ordered them to pay restitution, disgorgement, and civil monetary penalties in amounts to be determined at a later day. The CFTC’s litigation continues against Defendants William Center and Gregory Center.

The CFTC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation.

CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Jason Mahoney, Timothy J. Mulreany, George Malas, and Joan Manley.

Last Updated: May 16, 2013