Craig L. Clavin fined $370,000 for Ponzi scheme

Rick Steves

Craig Clavin solicited at least $345,000 for trading commodity futures. Instead, the money was used for personal expenses and to pay purported profits to some pool participants like any other Ponzi scheme.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York has imposed a $370,000 in monetary penalty and relief in the context of the charges against Craig L. Clavin and his company Lighthouse Futures.

The CFTC had issued a complaint against the defendants for fraudulent solicitation and misappropriation of participants’ money; sending false reports of profitable trading to participants to conceal their fraud; commingling of pool funds with non-pool funds; and failure to register with the CFTC as required.

The defendants, who admitted to all of the findings made in the complaint, are permanently banned from trading and registering with the CFTC.

The defendants admitted that, from at least 2015 through approximately May 2019, they falsely represented that they were running a successful CFTC-regulated commodity pool, generating returns of 10 to 14 percent.

Craig Clavin and his firm solicited at least $345,000 from pool participants to be used for trading commodity futures. Instead, the money was used for personal expenses and to pay purported profits to some pool participants like any other Ponzi scheme.

The order also found that the defendants sent investors fraudulent pool reports and annual summary statements showing false trading profits.

The restitution obligation will be offset by any restitution paid in the related criminal case. The CFTC cautions that orders requiring repayment of funds to victims may not result in the recovery of any money lost because the wrongdoers may not have sufficient funds or assets.

On June 11, 2020, in a parallel, separate action, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office (New York) filed an indictment against Craig L. Clavin and his company Lighthouse Futures.

The CFTC has recently charged a North Carolina couple for running a $1 million Ponzi scheme through their entities Capital Storm, Generation Black, and Ncome.

The couple continues to run their Ponzi scheme, but the court has recently issued an ex parte order freezing assets controlled by the defendants and preserving records.

Still, they continue to solicit clients or prospective clients through in-person solicitations as well as social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, including a website operated by Storm and Elijah Bryant, to induce non-ECP, retail clients to send the defendants funds.

The charges are for fraudulent solicitation, misappropriation, and registration violations relating to a $1.05 million fraudulent scheme operated by the Bryants through their corporate entities.

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