An announcement made by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission details that North Carolina resident James Harvey Mason of Graham has been sentenced to pay a hefty fine related to a forex Ponzi scheme. The perpetrator of the scheme has been slapped with a $1.67 million civil monetary penalty and an additional $3.88 million in restitution.
Unfortunately for the 500 investors who fell victims to the funds of Mr Mason named ‘The JHM Forex Only Pool’ and ‘Forex Trading at Home’, they are very unlikely to see any of their funds back.
Mason has advertised to the clients of both commodity pools that they would be at no risk of losing their principal. Promising up to 500 percent annually if they invested with one or both of ‘The JHM Forex Only Pool’ and ‘Forex Trading at Home’ he managed to collect a hefty sum. Mason was previously convicted of wire fraud related to sale of commodities.
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After claiming to his clients that he’s pooling money to trade on the foreign exchange markets, Mason misappropriated at least $779,000. The perpetrator has lost close to $1.12 million while trading. He used some of the remaining funds to make payments to victims in order to keep his Ponzi scheme afloat.
The sentence comes two years after the assets of Mr Mason have been frozen. He is still awaiting his sentence in a criminal action related to the same case. He pleaded guilty in June 2014 to single counts of securities fraud conspiracy and filing a false tax return for tax year 2011.
In its announcement, the CFTC cautions victims that restitution orders may not result in the recovery of money lost because the wrongdoers may not have sufficient funds or assets.