CFTC charged Mark A. Ramkishun for $1.3 million fraud Leo Growl

Rick Steves

Ramkishun traded less than half of these funds (resulting in net trading losses) and ultimately misappropriated a substantial portion of pool participant funds on personal expenditures and to make Ponzi-type payments to pool participants, the CFTC said. 

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has announced charges against Mark A. Ramkishun for fraudulently inducing individuals in the U.S. to participate in a purported commodity pool called Leo Growl LLC.

The government agency alleges that beginning in at least March 2019 and continuing through at least September 2021, Ramkishun, acted as an unregistered commodity pool operator to fraudulently solicit and receive funds from more than 30 pool participants for the purpose of trading, among other things, commodity futures and options contracts in the pool.

Mark A. Ramkishun traded less than half of investors’ funds

The complaint further alleges that both in the course of soliciting as well as after receiving pool participant funds, Ramkishun knowingly made fraudulent and material misrepresentations and/or omitted material facts about the use of pool participant funds and the profits purportedly earned from Ramkishun’s trading.

Rather than use all of the pool participant funds to trade in the pool as he had promised, Ramkishun traded less than half of these funds (resulting in net trading losses) and ultimately misappropriated a substantial portion of pool participant funds on personal expenditures and to make Ponzi-type payments to pool participants, the CFTC said.

Mark Ramkishun also failed to operate the pool as a separate entity from himself and commingled his personal funds with pool participant funds in violation of CFTC regulations, the regulator added.

Ramkishun’s Ponzi scheme amounted to $1.3 million

The defendant was arrested in Florida in December 2022 and subsequently arraigned on a 56-count indictment obtained by the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, New York based on much of the same conduct alleged in the CFTC’s complaint.

According to the criminal complaint, the Ponzi scheme amounted to $1.3 million as he allegedly defrauded large sums of investors.

CFTC charged Troy Mason for $460,000 Forex fraud

Late last year the CFTC filed a complaint against Troy Mason for a fraudulent scheme that netted nearly $460,000 from at least 411 retail investors. As such, the order requires Mason and his company Ztegrity to pay restitution to customers and $300,000 in civil monetary penalties, respectively.

The defendants called this forex trading pool “The Black Club” and “The Forex Savings Club. In connection with the promotion of his pool, Mason made a series of materially false claims to lure investors interested in ‎Forex trading. The claim was made that pool participants could get extraordinary investment returns. While he actually had no experience in running trading strategies, Mason claimed that he had profitably traded forex on behalf of himself and others.

In addition, Mason did not disclose to clients that under his so-called “profit” sharing agreement he would charge some fees, even if losses accumulated in their accounts. In a parallel criminal action, in some cases instead ‎of using the investors’ monies in trading, the fraudster ‎misappropriated the majority of the pool funds, which was largely spent on ‎personal expenses.

To create the illusion of stability, the defendants distributed false account statements to pool participants, telling them that Mason was a successful forex trader.

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