Release #4224-99 (96 Civ. 7814)

For Release: January 6, 1999

NEW YORK COURT ORDERS DEFENDANTS TO PAY OVER $7.1 MILLION IN CIVIL PENALTIES, AND ORDERS RESTITUTION IN EXCESS OF $2.3 MILLION TO CUSTOMERS IN CFTC ACTION INVOLVING ILLEGAL FOREIGN CURRENCY FUTURES FRAUD; CFTC Charged World Wide Currencies, Inc., United Currencies, Corp., and A+ Currencies Int'l, Inc. in 1996 with Fraud in the Offer and Sale of Illegal Currency Futures Contracts

WASHINGTON – The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that the Honorable Whitman Knapp of U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a final judgment and order against World Wide Currencies, Inc. a/k/a Worldwide Currencies, Inc., a/k/a Worldwide Currencies Ltd.; United Currencies, Corp. a/k/a United Currencies, Inc.; and A+ Currencies Int'l Inc. d/b/a International Currencies, Inc. The judgment orders the defendants jointly and severally to make restitution to customers in the amount of $2,380,797.85 and to pay a civil monetary penalty in the amount of $7,142,393.55.

The judgment also permanently enjoins the defendants from violating provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations and rescinds all contracts entered into by the defendants with their customers.

The judgment, entered on December 23, 1998, is the culmination of proceedings that began on October 16, 1996, when the CFTC filed a four-count injunctive complaint against the defendants (see CFTC News Release #3959-96, October 17, 1996). In its anti-fraud action, the CFTC alleged that the defendants violated the CEA and CFTC regulations by offering and selling illegal currency futures contracts, cheating and defrauding customers in connection with the offer and sale of such contracts, violating the CFTC's registration requirements, and misappropriating customer funds. Shortly after the complaint was filed, the court entered an ex parte order, and subsequently a preliminary injunction, which, among other things, froze the defendants' assets.

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