The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed and simultaneously settled charges against Alexandre P. Guimaraes and his company, ACI Capital Group, both of Irvine, Calif., for fraudulently soliciting customers to trade off-exchange foreign currency contracts (forex), issuing hundreds of false monthly account statements to customers to conceal trading losses, and misappropriating a portion of customer funds. Guimaraes also was charged with acting as an unregistered commodity trading advisor.
The CFTC order requires Guimaraes and ACI jointly and severally to pay $428,046.31 in restitution and a $420,000 civil monetary penalty. The order also imposes permanent trading and registration bans against the respondents.
Stocks to Watch This Week – Expedia Group, IncGo to article >>
The order finds that, from about February 2010 to approximately February 2011, Guimaraes and ACI fraudulently solicited more than $465,000 from approximately 29 individuals throughout California and Hawaii to trade forex by falsely representing Guimaraes’ experience trading forex and his purportedly consistently profitable returns.
However, beginning in April 2010 and continuing until February 2011, the respondents sustained substantial trading losses for ACI customers and failed to disclose the losses to those customers, according to the order. The respondents concealed the losses by issuing hundreds of false monthly account statements to ACI customers, showing that each customer was earning a profit every month, the order finds.
In addition, Guimaraes misappropriated more than $44,000 of ACI customer funds, using the funds to pay for personal expenses, the order finds. Finally, the order finds that Guimaraes, on behalf of ACI, acted as a CTA for retail forex without registering with the Commission and that ACI is liable for his conduct.