Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that it filed an anti-fraud enforcement action against defendants David L. Ortiz of Vero Beach, Fla., and his companies, Goyep International, Inc., of Vero Beach, Fla., and Royal Returns, Inc., of Hollywood, Fla., charging them with operating a fraudulent off-exchange foreign currency (forex) scheme that accepted funds totaling at least $420,000 from at least 10 customers. None of the defendants has ever been registered with the CFTC.
The CFTC complaint, filed on February 23, 2011, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, alleges that the defendants misappropriated at least $232,000 of customer funds for their own benefit, including using the funds for personal shopping at retail department stores, travel, resort hotels, restaurants, utility bills, car payments, personal credit cards and sending funds directly to the relief defendants, Loredana Ortiz of Vero Beach, Fla., and Natural Health Matters, L.L.C. of Pembroke, Fla. The CFTC complaint names them as relief defendants because they allegedly received customer funds to which they had no entitlement.
On February 24, 2011, Judge K. Michael Moore entered an emergency order freezing the defendants’ assets and prohibiting the destruction of books and records.
Specifically, according to the CFTC complaint, beginning in May 2008 and continuing through the present, the defendants committed fraud for allegedly guaranteeing customers monthly profits of 10 percent, telling customers that their funds would be used to trade forex and misrepresenting the profitability of their forex trading and Ortiz’s experience and credentials. For instance, the defendants falsely represented that Ortiz was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and that he and Goyep have more than 30 years of investment experience, according to the complaint.
In addition, although some customers were allegedly able to withdraw their investment and purported profits, the defendants made such payments from funds invested by other customers, as is typical of a Ponzi scheme.
In its continuing litigation, the CFTC seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, restitution to defrauded customers, rescission of all contracts and agreements, civil monetary penalties, permanent trading and registration bans and a permanent injunction prohibiting further violations of the federal commodities laws.
The CFTC appreciates the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice.
The following CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members are responsible for this action: Susan B. Padove, Joy McCormack, Elizabeth Streit, Scott Williamson, Rosemary Hollinger and Richard B. Wagner.