February 4, 2016
Federal Court in Florida Orders Restitution, a Civil Monetary Penalty, and Permanent Injunction against Robert Tripode for Engaging in Fraud in Connection with Forex
Washington, DC- The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that a federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, issued a Consent Order against Defendant Robert Tripode of Boynton Beach, Florida, in connection with his fraudulent activities as an employee and agent of Forex Monthly Income Fund (FMIF), a commodity pool based in Miami, Florida. The Order requires Tripode to pay a civil monetary penalty totaling $170,716.01 and restitution of the same amount. The Order also imposes permanent trading and registration bans on Tripode and prohibits him from further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC Regulations, as charged.
The Consent Order, entered on January 29, 2016, by Judge William P. Dimitrouleas of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, finds that Tripode personally benefited from the fraud in the amount of $170,716.01 from his work as an agent of FMIF. The Order stems from a CFTC enforcement action filed on September 30, 2014, that charged Defendants Tripode, FMIF, and FMIF’s Principals Jean Chauvel and Renaud Pierre-Charles with fraudulently soliciting more than $1.4 million from members of the public to trade foreign currency (forex) in a commodity pool. Some of the Defendants’ victims were unsophisticated investors, including senior citizens. (See CFTC Press Release 7029-14, October 7, 2014.)
The Court Previously Entered a Default Judgment Order against Defendants FMIF, Chauvel, and Pierre-Charles
Previously, on February 11, 2015, the Court entered a Default Judgment Order against FMIF, Chauvel, and Pierre-Charles ordering them to pay restitution to defrauded investors of $1,008,705.41 and a civil monetary penalty totaling $3,026,116.23.
The Court’s Order finds that, from January 2011 through at least June 2013, FMIF fraudulently solicited members of the public by mail or other means to send money to FMIF to trade forex in a commodity pool operated by FMIF. In addition, according to the Order, FMIF and its employees misrepresented to prospective pool participants that FMIF offered safe investment with steady, guaranteed returns. FMIF received approximately $1.429 million from more than 100 pool participants to trade forex in the purported FMIF pool, and Tripode personally solicited at least 24 of these pool participants. The Order further finds that FMIF did not open any domestic or foreign forex trading accounts, and the purported forex pool was a sham. Instead of trading forex and paying the promised returns, FMIF, Chauvel, and Pierre-Charles misappropriated approximately $1,041,000 of pool participants’ funds. The Order further finds that in order to conceal and perpetuate their fraud, these Defendants distributed false statements to existing and prospective pool participants through the mail and/or other means indicating that FMIF was engaged in profitable trading.
CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this action are Kim Bruno, Laura Brookover, Raagnee Beri, Michael Loconte, Daniel Jordan, and Rick Glaser.
The CFTC cautions victims that restitution orders may not result in the recovery of money lost because the wrongdoers may not have sufficient funds or assets. The CFTC will continue to fight vigorously for the protection of customers and to ensure the wrongdoers are held accountable.
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CFTC’s Foreign Currency (Forex) Fraud Advisory
The CFTC has issued several customer protection Fraud Advisories that provide the warning signs of fraud, including the Foreign Currency Trading (Forex) Fraud Advisory, which states that the CFTC has witnessed a sharp rise in Forex trading scams in recent years and helps customers identify this potential fraud.
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: February 4, 2016