Now, A ‘Fraudulent $53 Million Worldwide Off-Exchange Forex Scheme,’ CFTC Alleges; Agency Charges Australian Resident Senen Pousa, U.S. Residents Joel Friant And Michael Dillard, Along With ‘Investment Intelligence Corp.’ And ‘Elevation Group Inc.’
EDITOR’S NOTE: In a statement on the allegations against Senen Pousa, Joel Friant, Michael Dillard and their companies, the CFTC pointedly stressed that international agencies cooperated in a probe and that the alleged scammers created victims in multiple nations . . .
The CFTC has gone to federal court in the Western District of Texas, alleging that Senen Pousa of Australia and Joel Friant of Bellingham, Wash., were running a “fraudulent $53 million worldwide off-exchange Forex scheme” through an Australian enterprise known as Investment Intelligence Corp. (IIC).
Also charged in the alleged caper were Michael Dillard and Elevation Group Inc. of Austin, Texas.
“The scheme allegedly accepted at least $53 million from at least 960 clients worldwide, including at least 697 clients in the United States, and clients in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and Singapore, among other countries. None of the defendants has ever been registered with the CFTC,” the CFTC charged.
U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel of the Western District of Texas issued an emergency freeze of the assets of Pousa, Friant and IIC and prohibited the destruction of books and records, the CFTC said.
Cooperating in the probe were the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, the U.K. Financial Services Authority, the Hungarian Financial Supervisory Authority, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets, the Financial Markets Authority of New Zealand and the New Zealand Serious Fraud Office, the CFTC said.
From a CFTC statement (italics added):
The CFTC complaint alleges that from at least January 1, 2012 through the present IIC, through Pousa, Friant and its other agents, and defendants Dillard and Elevation Group, utilized “wealth creation” webcasts, webinars, podcasts, emails, and other online seminars via the Internet to directly and indirectly solicit actual and prospective clients worldwide to open forex trading accounts at IIC. The complaint further alleges that clients were promised by IIC, through Pousa, Friant, and other agents 1) a monthly return of 9 percent, 2) that IIC’s managed forex trading would risk less than 3 percent of a client’s capital per transaction, 3) that IIC was able to limit the risk inherent to forex trading by limiting its managed forex trading to 2 to 5 trades per month, and 4) that IIC has six “proprietary traders” working 24 hours a day trading clients’ funds. The CFTC complaint alleges that all of these representations to clients were false.
On or about May 16-17, 2012, the complaint alleges that clients suffered a loss of over 60 percent of their investment, when IIC, by and through its agents, entered over 200 forex trades in each client’s account in violation of the representations made by IIC, by and through its agents.
Also assisting the CFTC were the Texas State Securities Board, the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas, the FBI and the SEC, the CFTC said.
Read the CFTC complaint.