Registered commodity pool operator Arista LLC misappropriated $4.125 million from 39 investors
The US Commodity Futures trading Commission (CFTC) has issued a press release informing the public about a federal court order that seeks over $22 million in restitution and fines from Abdul Sultan Walji and Reniero Francisco. They acted as principals for the registered commodity pool operator Arista LLC and have carried out a scheme defrauding 39 investors of more than $9.5 million dollars.
They have sent false statements to the CFTC and filed false quarterly reports to the National Futures Association (NFA). The scam has been running for a couple of years – from February 2010 until January last year. The duo claimed to have made 99% profits in September 2011 when in fact they have lost close to 47% of the funds. They have paid themselves handsome fees amounting to $4.125 million while losing more than $ 4.8 million in disastrous futures and options trading.
The court order requires them to pay $8.25 million in restitution fees to their investors, in addition Mr Walji has been fined $6.45 million and Mr Francisco $5.925 million in civil monetary penalties. The defendants have been issuing false quarterly statements to their investors in addition to submitting false data to the NFA.
A related criminal proceeding has resulted in severe prison sentences with Mr Walji being sentenced to 151 months and Mr Francisco to 97 months of imprisonment. A hefty price tag nonetheless, however the money for the fines do not grow from Folsom’s walls and are not likely to refill investors’ pockets any time soon.
For the full press release visit CFTC’s website.