FX trader Kelvin Ramirez pleads guilty in social media scam

abdelaziz Fathi

A Texas-based forex trader charged with running a fraudulent investment scheme that raked in nearly $3 million pleaded guilty in a US federal court on Monday.

Kelvin O. Ramirez was ‎accused of taking money from customers who thought they were investing in foreign exchange markets. ‎Investors were lulled into the false belief that they were trading currencies through accounts managed by Ramirez, or by subscribing to his education courses or signals service.

The original case was brought by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 2019. A Texas federal judge granted the CFTC a final judgment against the alleged fraudster who never appeared in the case or responded to the agency’s complaint.

Ramirez used social media to solicit investors for commodity pools supposedly engaged in forex trading. The judge also ordered him to pay a $2.2 million civil monetary penalty as part of the final judgment entered against him in the enforcement action.

The defendant sold the ‘double your money’ software for as little as $250 per month to receive the basic trading signals and as much as $25,000 to receive the trading signals and other personalized trading advice.

In connection with the promotion of the software, Ramirez made a series of materially false claims through various means, primarily through social media, including Instagram, WhatsApp, and similar channels.

Ramirez used several names to hide his identity, according to the complaint that accuses him of fraud, misappropriation, registration ‎violations, and issuing false statements.‎

The US derivatives regulator alleged in its complaint the money sent to Ramirez was not used to ‎purchase or trade FX on his clients’ behalf. Prosecutors said that instead of buying the contracts ordered by his customers, he ‎spent the money on company expenses, investment activities ‎and for his own personal use and benefit. ‎

As a result of the actions and misappropriation, the ‎commission seeks full restitution to ‎defrauded ‎participants, disgorgement of any ill-gotten gains, a civil ‎monetary ‎penalty, permanent registration and trading ‎bans, and a permanent injunction ‎against violations of ‎federal commodities laws, as charged.‎

“Through his Instagram accounts, Ramirez marketed “investment groups” and “private accounts” that purportedly traded in forex and were managed by Ramirez. For both types of investments, Ramirez solicited individuals by falsely promising high returns on investments, making false representations about the risk associated with the investments and falsely guaranteeing returns on investment. Through his scheme, Ramirez fraudulently obtained more than $650,000 from over 100 individuals, and then used investors’ funds for personal expenses,” the justice department said in a statement.  

Ramirez pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $750,000. He is scheduled to be sentenced on November 9.

Read this next

Retail FX

Interactive Brokers adds 680k accounts, daily trades hit two-year high

Interactive Brokers LLC (NASDAQ: IBKR) recorded 2.44 million daily average revenue trades (DARTs) in February 2024, marking a notable increase from the 2.2 million transactions observed in the previous month. This figure represents the highest DARTs reported in two years, indicating an 11 percent monthly surge and a 15 percent year-on-year rise.

Retail FX

Financial Commission adds Ultima Markets to membership roster

Multi-asset brokerage firm Ultima Markets, operating under the trading name Ultima Markets Ltd, has been granted membership of the Financial Commission, marking the most recent inclusion into the ranks of the self-regulatory organization.

Digital Assets

Bitcoin hits fresh record high amid massive short squeeze

Bitcoin has surged to record highs against both the euro and the pound, hitting €60,447 and £51,736 respectively on Coinbase. The primary cryptocurrency has seen an almost 7% increase in the past 24 hours.

Digital Assets

US court rules crypto trades as securities in Coinbase case

A US court ruled that trading crypto assets on platforms like Coinbase constitutes securities transactions.

Market News

Weekly Data: Oil and Gold: Brief Review before the NFP

This preview of weekly data looks at USOIL and XAUUSD where economic data coming up later this week are the main market drivers for the near short-term outlook.

Institutional FX

FXSpotStream reports lower volumes for February 2024

FXSpotStream’s trading venue, the aggregator service of LiquidityMatch LLC, reported its operational metrics for February 2024, which moved lower on a monthly basis.

Fundamental Analysis

Global FX Market Summary: EUR, USD, Gold March 4th,2024

US Dollar Weakness: The US Dollar (USD) is currently struggling to gain strength due to a combination of factors.

Technical Analysis

Bitcoin Technical Analysis Report 4 March, 2024

Bitcoin cryptocurrency can be expected to rise further toward the next resistance level 69000.00 (former multiyear high from January)

Opinion

Finding Opportunity in Challenge: Why New Regulations Offer a Chance For Business to Get on Top of Data Management

The combination of CESOP, PSD3 and the PSR, has put businesses under new pressures. In this engaging article, André Casterman, Senior Advisor at Intix provides invaluable guidance on how companies can stay ahead of the curve.

<