M37 Investments LLC, M25 Investments Inc., Jeffery Lyon, and Scott Kear Sr. have settled for $16.2 million Commodity Futures Trading Commission charges involving the alleged defrauding of over 200 individuals in a foreign currency scheme. Many of the investment fraud victims were senior investors. The Texas securities fraud agreement was reached between the parties in district court.
The CFTC contends that the defendants solicited about $8 million from approximately 213 individuals to trade off-exchange leveraged foreign currency,
commodity futures contracts, and forex options. The commission says that between December 2007 and September 2009, investors in Texas, West Virginia, Maryland, and Mississippi, and other states were solicited for the trades. Many of the seniors who were targeted were solicited through their churches.
The defendants are accused of guaranteeing investors renewal bonuses, if they reinvested, in addition to guaranteed interest payments on investments. The investors were also allegedly told that “profitable trading” would garner returns. Unfortunately, what ended up happening is that most of the investors’ funds didn’t go toward trading and what was traded resulted in substantial losses.
CFTC says that the few funds that M35 and M25 paid to investors was money that had come from other clients. Because of this, CFTC contends, the two firms ended up running Ponzi scams. The agency also is accusing the defendants of covering up the securities fraud with monthly statement accounts that gave clients the false impression that they were making the 2% monthly interest that they had been promised.
Jointly and severally the defendants will pay $7.404 million in restitution. The two companies will jointly and severally pay a fine of $7.1 million. Lyon’s fine is $375,00 and Kear will pay $1.4 million.
Related Web Resources:
Federal Court Orders More than $16.2 Million in Customer Restitution and Monetary Penalties against Texas Defendants Scott P. Kear, Sr., Jeffery L. Lyon and their Firms in CFTC Anti-Fraud Action, CFTC, October 27, 2010
Read the Complaint (PDF)