The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced today that it has charged a New York City based trader with defrauding investors out of millions of dollars by misrepresenting her investment track record, the profitability of her investments and her use of investor funds.
The news comes just one day after charges were made by the SEC against Wall Street-based brokerage firm Albert Fried & Co for failing to file Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) for a more than five-year period, as reported by Finance Magnates.
Touted her Strategy
In this particular case, SEC alleges that Haena Park touted her supposedly profitable futures and forex trading strategy when soliciting friends, family, former Harvard classmates and individuals with connections to them.
Park proceeded to pool investor funds and incur heavy monthly trading losses in the futures and forex markets, but continued to tell investors that their investments were profitable. She also sent them monthly account statements showing fictitious profits.
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At times, Park used new investor funds to make Ponzi-like payments to earlier investors, raising around $14 million from more than 30 investors since 2012. Park has suffered more than $16 million in trading losses during this time period.
Allegedly Lied to NFA Examiners
In April, 2016, the National Futures Association (NFA) conducted an on-site examination of Park’s firm, Phaetra Advisors, where Park was also alleged to have made false statements to NFA examiners.
Commenting on the case, Andrew M. Calamari, Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office, said: “We allege that Park brazenly obtained investor money under false pretenses and compounded her egregious conduct by using phony monthly statements to convince some investors to significantly increase their investments based on fictitious positive returns.”
The SEC is seeking a permanent injunction as well as the return of alleged ill-gotten gains plus interest and penalties.
In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has also brought criminal charges against Park.