Federal court orders Texan to pay $2.69M in forex case

Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) obtained a federal court consent order requiring CFTC defendant Larry Benny Groover of Gunter, Texas, to pay a total of $2.69 million in restitution and a civil monetary penalty for defrauding customers and misappropriating funds in a foreign currency (forex) Ponzi scheme (see CFTC Press Release 5986-11, February 17, 2011).

The consent order of permanent injunction, entered by Judge Richard A. Schell of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, on January 4, 2012, also requires Groover and/or his wife, Joanne Groover, named as a Relief Defendant, to disgorge ill-gotten funds totaling $44,890, which Joanne Groover received as a result of her husband’s fraudulent conduct.

The court’s order finds that from June 18, 2008, to February 4, 2010, Groover solicited and received approximately $1.4 million to trade forex and commingled these customer funds with his and his wife’s personal funds. Groover used approximately $647,500 of the solicited funds to trade forex and lost approximately $600,000. Groover misappropriated the remaining customer funds by making payments to past customers with new customer funds and paying for personal expenses, such as health and medical care, cable television, groceries, dining, auto repair, gasoline, and insurance, according to the order. Additionally, the order finds that Groover used customer funds to purchase software and trade publications and to make payments directly to himself and Joanne Groover.

The CFTC thanks the Financial Services Authority of the United Kingdom, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, the Texas State Securities Board, and the Collin County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance.

CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Jeff Le Riche, Jenny Chapin, Jo Mettenburg, Steve Turley, Richard Glaser, and Richard Wagner.

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