Gold scam in the form of $4 million Ponzi scheme unveiled by CFTC


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The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced the filing of a federal civil enforcement action in Florida charging Defendants Carlos Javier Ramirez, Gold Chasers, Inc., and Royal Leisure International, Inc., all with last known addresses in Orlando, Florida, with misappropriating customer funds and engaging in fraudulent sales solicitations in connection with the purported purchase of physical gold.

According to the CFTC Complaint, since at least February 14, 2012 through at least January 31, 2016, Defendants fraudulently offered contracts to sell gold to at least 20 customers who reside in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and abroad, marketing one of their schemes through a website. Defendants allegedly fraudulently obtained at least $4.1 million from customers. Of that amount, Defendants misappropriated approximately $3.95 million of their customers’ funds, and also paid false profits to some customers, in the manner of a Ponzi scheme, according to the Complaint.

In order to entice customers, Defendants, among other things, allegedly promised to sell customers gold at a discount, which Defendants claimed was possible because Defendants purchased gold at discount prices at mines in Central and South America. However, the Defendants allegedly failed to buy gold that they could sell to their customers. The Complaint alleges that the Defendants made other fraudulent misrepresentations to lure customers, including that Defendants

  1. would sell gold to customers at a price that was related to the London Bullion Market Association’s prices,
  2. customers would have the opportunity to take physical possession of gold bars, and
  3. customers would receive a “20% free bonus” payable in gold. All of these statements, according to the Complaint, were false.

The Complaint also alleges that the Defendants issued phony invoices and account statements to some customers in an attempt to conceal their fraud.

In its continuing litigation against the Defendants, the CFTC seeks restitution to defrauded customers, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, a civil monetary penalty, permanent registration and trading bans, and a permanent injunction against future violations of federal commodities laws and regulations, as charged.

 

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Gold scam in the form of $4 million Ponzi scheme unveiled by CFTC

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