Articles Posted in #Commoditiesfutures fraud

Thomas Lanzana (dba Unique Forex),  and his company Blackbox Pulse, LLC of  New Jersey, along with Nikolay Masanko and his company, White Cloud Mountain, LLC of  Florida, have been permanently enjoined from engaging in conduct that violates the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA)and they have been ordered to pay $762,807.24 in restitution, as well as a civil monetary penalty of $1.95 million in connection with a commodity pool fraud investment scheme involving retail off-exchange foreign currency (forex). The Court found that the defendants fraudulently solicited and accepted funds from customers for the purported purpose of trading forex.  Further, the court found that the defendants maintained the trust of their customers by providing fabricated account statements, links to YouTube videos describing trades and profits, and sending falsified annual tax documents to customers.  The court also found that Lanzana misappropriated customer funds by using some of those funds to pay other customers, compensate Masanko for customers that he solicited, and for his personal use.

The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey entered an order of default judgment and permanent injunction (Order) against the defendants following a CFTC Complaint filed on August 21, 2017. [See CFTC Press Release 7605-17]  In the Order, issued on March 15, 2019, Judge Madeline Cox Arleo found that the CFTC had sufficiently pled CEA violations by alleging that the defendants emailed customers account statements and links to YouTube videos showing forex trades that never happened and profits that did not exist, misrepresented that customer funds were being held in Blackbox Pulse or Unique Forex forex trading accounts when, in fact, they were not, and misappropriated customer funds.

A related criminal case was filed against Lanzana in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on August 10, 2018.  See Case No. 2:18-mj-03676-MF, USA v. Lanzana.  The criminal case, which includes two counts charging wire fraud and commodities fraud, is pending before Judge Mark Falk.

Royal Metals Group LLC and part owner Chelsea Gless of Iowa were charged with defrauding retail clients for false promises to deliver precious metal in return for funds. The Complaint also alleged that they obtained precious metals by fraud with promises of payment which were not made.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Defendants Royal Metals Group, LLC (RMG), and its member, manager and part owner, Chelsea Gless of Iowa.  The CFTC’s Complaint charges Defendants with defrauding retail clients in connection with precious metals transactions and fraudulently obtaining more than $600,000 from those clients.

Director of Enforcement James McDonald, stated: “As this case shows, the CFTC is actively policing precious metals transactions and will vigorously enforce the anti-fraud provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act.  The CFTC will continue to fight to protect customers and to hold wrongdoers accountable.”