beware of fraudulent investments related to COVID-19

Beware of Fraudulent Investments related to COVID-19

Apr 20, 2020

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) has recently issued a warning to investors to be on the lookout for scams seeking to take advantage of recent COVID-19 related market volatility. The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has also issued a recent warning to investors to be especially vigilant in investing in microcap stocks where brokers or promoters claim that a company’s products or services can help stop the coronavirus.   According to the SEC, fraudsters often use the latest news developments to lure investors into scams. There have been a number of recent Internet promotions, including on social media, claiming that the products or services of publicly-traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure coronavirus and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result. The promotions often take the form of so-called “research reports” and make predictions of a specific “target price.” The SEC urges investors to be wary of these promotions and to be aware of the substantial potential for fraud at this time When it comes to options investing, recent market volatility may cause fraudsters to try to promote options or futures strategies to take advantage of this market. This too has special risks which investors should be aware of. It is true that some types of options do allow traders to hedge against market risk. For example, historically, gold futures and other precious metals have seen short-term increases in times of economic uncertainty. And, over-the-counter digital asset or foreign exchange (forex) traders may be able to identify pairings that go up in value when other markets are in decline.  However, the CFTC warns that there is no such thing as a risk-free strategy, and no person or program can guarantee future results. Also, you should know that all risks, fees, and expenses should be disclosed to the investor upfront.  According to the CFTC, here are things you should look out for: If it Looks to Good to Be True, It Probably is Trading and investing come with a number of biases and emotions that influence decision making. Recent market losses due to the impact of COVID-19 may motivate some traders to recoup losses, while others may seek safety. Fraudsters know this and design their pitches to appeal to these instincts. Examples include claims of special insider knowledge or insights, promises of unusually large returns, guarantees, surefire trading signals, or low costs to open accounts. And these offers are timed to hit your inbox or social media feed when you are most interested. The common advice is “if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.” But frauds are often successful because they do look good. The problem, even for experienced traders, is that when biases get in the way, they make it difficult to recognize what’s too good.  Experienced Investors Can Often be Scammed Numerous studies have revealed that those who are more financially literate and experienced are more likely to be victimized by investment fraud. It could be correlation: Those who are more financially literate are more likely to trade and therefore more likely to encounter fraud. Or, as some researchers […]

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ponzi scheme or other investment scam

Oasis International & Others Charged in $75 Million FOREX scheme

Apr 23, 2019

The Commodities Futures Trading Commission announced yesterday that it has filed a civil enforcement action in federal court in Florida against Sarasota area defendants Oasis International Group, Limited, Oasis Management, LLC, Satellite Holdings Company, Michael J. DaCorta, Joseph S. Anile, II, Raymond P. Montie, III, Francisco “Frank” L. Duran , and John J. Haas . The Complaint alleges that the defendants received approximately $75 million from pool participants for investment in two commodity pools—Oasis Global FX, Limited and Oasis Global FX, SA (collectively, the “Oasis Pools”)—that would purportedly trade in foreign currency exchange (“forex”). The defendants falsely represented that, among other things participants would receive a minimum 12% guaranteed annual return; the Oasis Pools had never had a losing month; there was no risk of loss with the Oasis Pools; and forex trading returns for the Oasis Pools were 22% in 2017 and 21% in 2018. The defendants misappropriated the majority of pool funds and lost the remainder trading forex. As further alleged, of the approximately $75 million the defendants received from pool participants between mid-April 2014 and the present, the defendants deposited only $21 million into Oasis Pools’ forex trading accounts and lost all of those funds trading. The defendants used over $28 million to make Ponzi-like payments to other pool participants, as well as spending over $18 million for unauthorized personal or business expenses such as real estate purchases in Florida, exotic vacations, sports tickets, pet supplies, loans to family members, and college and study abroad tuition. The defendants also allegedly created and issued false account statements to conceal their trading losses and misappropriation from pool participants by inflating and misrepresenting the value of the pool participants’ investments in the Oasis Pools and the Oasis Pools’ trading returns. See the full CFTC press release https://www.cftc.gov/PressRoom/PressReleases/7915-19 If you believe that you are the victim of a Ponzi scheme or other investment scam, call us today for a free consultation. Former Wall Street Attorney Melanie S. Cherdack represents investors in the United States and the Caribbean in claims against brokers and brokerage firms for wrongdoing. If and have experienced investment losses, please call us at 888-768-2499 or complete our contact form for a free consultation.

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