CFTC Cracks Down on Arizona Racket After $13m Commodities Pool Scheme

The regulator halted Williams Advisory Group's commodities pool scheme after it defrauding 40 investors.

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has cracked down on an illegal commodity pool racket in Arizona, after Cory Williams and his company, Williams Advisory Group (WAG), defrauded forty investors out of at least $13.0 million, according to a regulatory manifest.

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The CFTC charges Mr. Williams and WAG with commodity futures fraud, and also failing to register as a commodity pool operator. More specifically, Mr. Williams and his company defrauded a diverse pool of investors, ranging from family members, neighbors, and members of his church in the Phoenix area.

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Between at least April 2014 through December 2016, Mr. Williams managed to fraudulently solicit and procure at least $13.0 million from forty individuals to trade E-Mini S&P 500 futures contracts, among other instruments, in an aggregated fund. Mr. Williams managed to lose all $13 million over the same period via trading futures contracts in his personal accounts or the misappropriation of the funds.

Horribly Awry

This was facilitated by Mr. Williams’ misrepresentations regarding his trading abilities and profits – falsely claiming he was profitable when in reality he managed to lose more than $8.3 million of the $13 million of participants’ funds trading significant volumes of E-Mini S&P futures contracts in his personal accounts.

According to James McDonald, Director of CFTC’s Division of Enforcement, in a statement on the complaint: “As alleged, Cory Williams lied to his victims to convince them to invest millions of dollars in his fund. Williams promised to invest their money using his expertise, backed up by a track record of profitable investments.”

“To perpetrate this fraud, Williams preyed on those closest to him, including members of his family, community, and church. The charges in this case send a message that the CFTC will continue to take swift action to stop such fraudulent schemes and to hold fraudsters accountable for their misconduct.”

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