Arizonian must pay $1.7M for Ponzi Scheme

Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) obtained a federal court order requiring Anthony Eugene Linton of Tucson, Ariz., doing business as The Private Trading Pool (PTP), to pay a total of $1,776,610 in restitution, disgorgement, and a civil monetary penalty for defrauding investors in a commodity pool Ponzi scheme involving off-exchange foreign currency trading (forex).

The order, entered by US District Court Judge Frank R. Zapata of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona on January 30, 2012, stems from a CFTC complaint filed in January 2011, charging Linton with fraud and misappropriation in connection with the scheme (see CFTC Release 5970-11, January 24, 2011).

The order requires Linton to pay a civil monetary penalty of $1,044,366, restitution of $384,122, and disgorgement of $348,122. The order also permanently prohibits Linton from engaging in any commodity-related activity, including trading, and from registering or seeking exemption from registration with the CFTC.

Judge Zapata found that, beginning in or about October 2007 and continuing through January 2011, Linton violated the anti-fraud provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act by falsely representing to customers that they would receive a 100 percent annual return on their investments. Linton further misrepresented that there were no risks associated with trading forex through PTP, that participant funds were accessible on 24-hours’ notice, and that participants could receive monthly checks which Linton falsely represented to be profits from his trading activities, the order finds. The court also found that Linton misappropriated pool participants’ funds, using them for mortgage and car payments and purchases of numerous collectibles on ebay.

CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Susan Gradman, David Slovick, Melissa Glasbrenner, Scott Williamson, Rosemary Hollinger, and Richard Wagner.

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