Washington, DC – The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that it obtained a federal court order freezing the assets held by defendants Keith F. Simmons of West Jefferson, N.C., Bryan Coats of Clayton, N.C., Jonathan Davey of Newark, Ohio, and numerous corporate entities controlled by them. The order also prohibits the destruction of books and records and schedules a hearing on the CFTC’s motion for a preliminary injunction for February 23, 2011. Previously, on January 19, 2011, the court issued a consent order freezing the assets of defendants Deanna Salazar and Life Plus Group, LLC and relief defendant Lawrence Salazar.
The order stems from a CFTC complaint, filed on January 13, 2011, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, charging the defendants with fraudulent solicitation and misappropriation of customer funds in connection with a Ponzi scheme involving foreign currency exchange (forex) trading. The following corporate entities also are charged in the CFTC complaint: Black Diamond Capital Solutions, L.L.C., Black Diamond Holdings, L.L.C., Life Plus Group, L.L.C., Genesis Wealth Management, L.L.C., Divine Circulation Services, L.L.C., Safe Harbor Ventures, Inc., Safe Harbor Wealth Investments, Inc., Divine Stewardship, L.L.C., and Safe Harbor Wealth, Inc.
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The CFTC complaint alleges that, from at least April 2007, the defendants orchestrated a $35 million Ponzi-style fraudulent scheme, soliciting the funds from at least 240 individuals to invest in off-exchange forex through a purported Black Diamond trading platform. In their solicitations, the defendants allegedly fraudulently represented that (1) Black Diamond had a three-year history of highly successful forex trading and consistently earned positive returns averaging more than four percent monthly, (2) the Black Diamond trading was based on an advisory system created by qualified platform developers, (3) the risks of trading forex through Black Diamond were limited and (4) sufficient funds were available to be returned to customers upon request. However, no forex trading was ever conducted through the Black Diamond trading platform, and the Black Diamond trading platform never existed, according to the complaint.
Read the rest here and check out the full Complaint against Keith Simmons, Order: Keith F. Simmons, Bryan Coats and Jonathan Davey and Consent Order: Deanna Salazar, Life plus Group, LLC and Lawrence Salazar.