Court orders Alpha Trade Group, employees to pay $5.8 million

June 25, 2013 03:03 PM
Victims in Florida, California, Puerto Rico

The following is from the CFTC...

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that on June 3, 2013, Judge Gregory A. Presnell of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida entered an Amended Order entering final judgment (Order) against Defendants Alpha Trade Group, S.A. (ATG), Jose Cecilio Martinez Beltran (Martinez), Welinton Bautista Castillo (Bautista), Yehodiz Padua Valentin (Padua),Maria Alvarez Gutierrez (Gutierrez), and Maria Asela Rodriguez (Rodriguez), all of Orlando, Florida, for their involvement in a fraudulent off-exchange foreign currency (forex) and commodity futures scheme involving two pools, Orsa Investment Group, L.L.C. and Online Marketing Solutions. The Order finds that certain Defendants solicited customers, accepted their funds into the two pools and then failed to return more than $1,461,000, primarily from residents in Florida, California, and Puerto Rico. Moreover, the Order finds that all of the Defendants misappropriated customer funds.

The Order requires ATG, Martinez, and Bautista to pay, jointly and severally, $1,461,500 in restitution, and each to pay a $980,000 civil monetary penalty. The Order requires Padua, Gutierrez and Rodriguez to pay restitution in the amounts of $10,383, $82,750, and $49,079.37, respectively, as well as civil monetary penalties in the amounts of $840,000, $248,250, and $147,238.11, respectively. The Order also imposes permanent trading and registration bans against all of these defendants, and prohibits them from violating the Commodity Exchange Act, as charged.

The Order stems from a CFTC Complaint filed on September 27, 2011, charging ATG, Martinez, Bautista and Padua with solicitation fraud, issuing false account statements, and misappropriating pool participant funds, in connection with both futures and forex, and failing to register with the Commission in connection with futures activities, and also charging Gutierrez and Rodriguez with misappropriating pool participant funds. (See CFTC Press Release 6115-11; CFTC v. Alpha Trade Group S.A., et al., Case No. 6:11-cv-01584-GAP-DAB.)

The CFTC acknowledges the assistance of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, as well as the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida during the investigation of this matter. The CFTC also acknowledges the assistance provided by Germany’s Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin), the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), and Spain’s Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV) during the investigation.

CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Kim Bruno, Amanda Harding, Michael Loconte, Erica Bodin, Kathleen Banar, Rick Glaser, and Richard Wagner.

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