Exchange Investment Fraud
Conmen plead guilty in forex-based pyramid schemes
01/06 - Two players in lucrative Boca Raton-based pyramid schemes
pleaded guilty Friday to a host of counts, with one doing so only
after a previously negotiated prison sentence and the other hoping
for a judge's mercy.
David Luger, 46, was a key player in foreign currency exchange
schemes that did business as Worldwide Forex and USFX and bilked
investors out of at least $3.5 million, according to Assistant
Statewide Prosecutor Margery Lexa.
At his March 9 sentencing, Circuit Judge Krista Marx has the discretion
to send Luger away for 12 to 410 years for his crimes, which include
48 counts of telemarketing fraud by an unlicensed salesperson as
well other counts of racketeering, conspiracy, grand theft, organized
scheme to defraud and money laundering. He is on house arrest pending
Richard Maseri, 48, of Boca Raton, engaged in a separate pyramid
scheme with Luger and others while Luger was on house arrest, Lexa
said. Acting as his own attorney, Maseri negotiated a five-year
prison term, as long as he shows up for formal sentencing on March
6 with a check for $87,800 that will be split among three victims.
He pleaded guilty to organized scheme to defraud and fraudulent
Several other co-defendants previously have pleaded guilty in
connection with the schemes. One of the men, Sean Burns, who was
the alleged leader, fled to Great Britain. He operated the Ponzi
schemes in a "cocaine- and alcohol-induced haze," according
to the prosecutor.
Luger, of Boca Raton, ran the operation following Burns' departure.
The defendants, whom Lexa characterized as running a "very
sophisticated, very sexy operation," snookered investors from
all walks of life and various states.
The recruitment tactics included buying infomercial time on the
local AM radio show of Joyce Kaufman, during which Burns touted
his market expertise. Another tactic: using a shill to convince
people they could make big bucks by investing. The scheme fell
apart when too many of the investors wanted out and demanded their
Yet Another Florida Scammer Helps Steal Millions in Foreign Currency
10/07 - A federal district court has ordered Boca Raton resident
Jeffrey Paul Jedlicki to pay a $405,682 civil monetary fine, and
$405,682 restitution in a foreign currency fraud case. Total judgments
in the case now exceed $20 million, the US Commodity Futures Trading
Commission (CFTC) said this week.
In the same case, Southern District Court Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga
also order Roxana Sofia Lao Mendez (Lao) and Beatriz Peralta Quesada
(Peralta) each to pay a $120,000 civil monetary penalty; Jedlicki’s
firm, Jeffrey Jedlicki, Inc., was also ordered to pay $347,586
in disgorgement. Each defendant was also ordered to pay post–judgment
interest on the restitution and civil monetary penalties, the CFTC
The rulings stem from a CFTC case in which the CFTC alleged that,
since July 2003, Jedlicki and the corporate defendants defrauded
nearly 400 customers who had provided more than $6 million to open
foreign currency options trading accounts.
According to the complaint, the corporate defendants transferred
most of the customer funds to offshore accounts, from which some
funds were paid to the defendants. The CFTC further alleged that
only $95,000 was ever returned to customers.
The judgment against Jedlicki found that he committed fraud by “misappropriation
and sales solicitation fraud” and that Jedlicki, Inc., received
payments from the defendants “for which it did not provide
any legitimate goods or services.” Defendants Lao and Peralta
aided and abetted the fraudulent activities of the other defendants,
the CFTC said.
As reported by the Boca Raton News in 2006, an order entered Nov.
30, 2006, by Judge Altonaga required the corporate defendants (Harrington
Advisory Services, SL, Richmond Royce Advisory Services, SLU, and
Stafford Advisory Services and relief defendants FED and Associates,
LLC, Briscoe and Associates, Inc, and International Investments
Holdings Corp. and other defendants) to pay more than $19 million
in restitution, disgorgement, and civil monetary penalties.
CFTC Charges Two Staten Island Hedge Funds In Foreign Currency
01/06 - WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading
Commission (CFTC) announced today that it filed a federal injunctive
action against Alexsander Efrosman, a/k/a Alex Besser, of Staten
Island, New York, and two hedge funds under his control, Century
Maxim Fund Inc., and AJR Capital Inc., charging them with fraud
in the sale of illegal foreign currency (forex) futures contracts.
Specifically, the CFTC alleges that, between April 2004 and June
2005, defendants fraudulently solicited and obtained more than
$5 million dollars from as many as 110 customers for the purpose
of trading managed accounts in forex futures contracts that were
not, as required, traded on a registered entity. The complaint
alleges that defendants misappropriated the funds.
Efrosman was previously indicted for mail and wire fraud relating
to foreign currency trading in a different scheme, and fled the
country. He subsequently was extradited from France to face trial,
and in November 2000, pleaded guilty to nineteen counts of mail
and wire fraud before the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York, and was sentenced to a term of three years
The CFTC’s complaint alleges that shortly after his release
from prison, Efrosman engaged in a new forex scheme through purported
hedge funds Century Maxim Fund and AJR Capital. Allegedly, he fraudulently
solicited customers to trade forex through Century Maxim Fund,
which, Efrosman falsely represented as a hedge fund that had attracted
investments from a large number of high net-worth individuals.
The complaint also alleges that Efrosman fraudulently solicited
customers for forex trading through AJR Capital, which, Efrosman
represented to be an opportunity for customers of more modest means
to profit from forex trading. According to the complaint, Efrosman
misappropriated more than $300,000 from Century Maxim Fund investors
and more than $4.9 million from AJR Capital investors.
The complaint also alleges that Efrosman provided his customers
with fictitious Century Maxim and AJR Capital account statements
reflecting trades that did not actually occur, and profits that
did not exist. According to the complaint, the fictitious statements
were instrumental in the propagation of the fraud and the solicitation
of new customers. Finally, the complaint alleges that all the purported
forex trading Efrosman solicited customers to undertake was illegal,
as the contracts he solicited were futures contracts that could
only be traded on a registered entity.
The CFTC filed its complaint on September 30, 2005. On that same
day, court orders were entered which, among other things, froze
defendants’ assets and sealed the complaint. The court’s
seal was lifted on January 24, 2006. In its complaint, the CFTC
is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, a freeze
of defendants’ funds, restitution for defrauded customers,
civil monetary penalties, and disgorgement of ill-gotten gains.