The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today charged the owners of Oasis Global FX, Limited and Oasis Global FX in a case involving the operation of a fraudulent FX scheme.
The regulator said Michael DaCorta, Joseph Anile, Raymond Montie, Francisco Duran, and John Haas had set up and ran a retail foreign currency exchange trading firm from 2011 through 2019.
The defendants cold-called potential clients and convinced them to invest in the company. The victims were told their cash would be used to trade in Forex markets. The fraudsters even went as far as to draft performance reports which falsely claimed their pools had achieved gross annual returns for investors of about 21 percent in 2017, and 22 percent in 2018.
For new participants, they were assured to receive a minimum 12 percent guaranteed annual returns, while they were actually duped into a Ponzi scheme. To support the fraud, Oasis Global FX workers sent bogus account statements to clients, falsely showing positive returns on their investments, while they actually lost $21 million and misappropriated $47 million.
A Ponzi-style scheme paid $28 million
The pyramid operators lived the good life with the money, paying for personal expenses that included exotic vacations, sports tickets, pet supplies, loans to family members, and college and study abroad tuition, said authorities.
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“As further alleged, of the approximately $75 million the defendants received from pool participants between mid-April 2014 and the present, the defendants deposited only $21 million into Oasis Pools’ forex trading accounts and lost all of those funds trading,” the CFTC further explains.
Nearly all of the pool money was lost, according to the complaint that accuses the defendants of fraud, misappropriation, registration violations and issuing false statements.
Additionally, in order to shore up the fraud, they used a Ponzi-style scheme in which they paid over $28 million to early investors that they claimed represented profits but were, in fact, other investors’ funds.
The complaint also requires nine relief defendants to jointly disgorge the amount of ill-gotten gains they received from Oasis Global FX to which they have no legitimate claim.
A relief defendant is a person or entity who has received funds or assets as a result of the illegal acts of the other named defendants. A relief defendant is typically named because the plaintiff seeks injunctive relief to protect the sought funds or assets and apply them to any eventual recovery in the case.