March 31, 2015
CFTC Charges Maverick International, Inc. and its Principals Wesley Allen Brown and Edward Rubin with Pool Fraud and Other Violations
Washington, DC — The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced the filing of a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, charging Defendants Maverick International, Inc. and its principals, Wesley Allen Brown and Edward Rubin, with operating a fraudulent commodity pool and other violations of federal commodity laws. Maverick International, Inc. purportedly maintains offices in Wilmington, Delaware; however, its address is actually the address of a mail forwarding service. Brown currently resides in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Rubin resides in Winnabow, North Carolina.
The CFTC Complaint was filed under seal on March 23, 2015, and on March 26, 2015, U.S. District Court Judge Brian J. Davis issued an emergency Order freezing and preserving assets under Defendants’ control and prohibiting them from destroying documents or denying CFTC staff access to their books and records. The Court scheduled a hearing for April 8, 2015, on the CFTC’s motion for a preliminary injunction.
The CFTC Complaint charges that, as early as June 18, 2008, Defendants solicited and accepted more than $2 million from members of the public to trade commodity futures contracts in a commodity pool. As alleged, the Defendants misappropriated all of the $2 million to pay their personal and business expenses, including rent, meals, and more than $200,000 in cash withdrawals.
The Complaint alleges that Brown used his position as an associate pastor at a Flagler Beach, Florida, church to solicit congregants to participate in the fraudulent scheme. Through in-person solicitations and the Defendants’ website (wealthnavigator.org), Brown represented to actual and potential participants that the Defendants profitably traded commodity futures and precious metals on behalf of participants. These representations were false, because Defendants misappropriated all of the participants’ funds, and no trading on behalf of participants took place, according to the Complaint.
In its continuing litigation, the CFTC seeks full restitution to defrauded pool participants, disgorgement of any ill-gotten gains, a civil monetary penalty, permanent registration and trading bans, and a permanent injunction against future violations of federal commodities laws, as charged.
The CFTC appreciates the assistance of the Office of the State Attorney for the Seventh Judicial District of Florida; the Florida Office of Financial Regulation; the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida; the North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State, Securities Division; the Sherriff’s Department, Brunswick County, North Carolina; and the City of Myrtle North Myrtle Beach, Department of Public Safety.
CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this action are Timothy J. Mulreany, George Malas, and Paul Hayeck.
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CFTC’s Commodity Pool Fraud Advisory
The CFTC has issued several customer protection Fraud Advisories that provide the warning signs of fraud, including the Commodity Pool Fraud Advisory, which warns customers about a type of fraud that involves individuals and firms, often unregistered, offering investments in commodity pools.
Customers can report suspicious activities or information, such as possible violations of commodity trading laws, to the CFTC Division of Enforcement via a Toll-Free Hotline 866-FON-CFTC (866-366-2382) or file a tip or complaint online.
Last Updated: March 31, 2015