The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that it obtained a judgment for $5.5 million in restitution and civil monetary penalties against Claudio Aliaga and CMA Capital Management, LLC (CMA), of Miami Lakes, Florida, to settle an action charging defendants with operating a Ponzi scheme involving the fraudulent solicitation of at least $4.5 million from at least 125 individuals to invest in foreign currency (forex) managed accounts and/or a pooled investment.
On September 26, 2012, Judge Marcia G. Cooke of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida entered a consent order of permanent injunction against defendants. Specifically, the order requires the defendants to jointly pay restitution of $1.1 million, Aliaga to pay a civil monetary penalty of $3.3 million, and CMA to pay a civil monetary penalty of $1.1 million. The order also imposes permanent trading and registration bans against the defendants.
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The order finds that from at least March 2007 through April 6, 2010, the defendants fraudulently solicited and received at least $4.5 million from retail customers and that only approximately $1.9 million in customer funds was transferred into forex trading accounts; that Aliaga’s trading resulted in overall losses of approximately $673,000; that Aliaga misappropriated customer funds for the benefit of himself, his wife, and another related business entity; and that to conceal the fraud, Aliaga issued false account statements to customers reflecting the promised returns based on his purportedly successful trading of foreign currency contracts.