Head of Blackbox Pulse, Unique Forex faces up to 30 years in prison over Ponzi scheme

Maria Nikolova

Thomas Lanzana was arrested on Wednesday on charges of defrauding at least 20 people in a foreign currency Ponzi scheme.

Thomas Lanzana head of Blackbox Pulse and Unique Forex, was arrested on Wednesday in Park City, Kansas on charges that he defrauded at least 20 people in a foreign currency Ponzi scheme, US Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Lanzana, 51, was charged by complaint with one count each of wire fraud and commodities fraud.

The criminal complaint alleges that, as early as 2013, Lanzana fraudulently solicited approximately $900,000 from at least 20 customers to invest in algorithm-based trading pools in Forex and other financial instruments. He falsely claimed to prospective customers that he was a successful FX trader. Lanzana allegedly took several steps to keep his customers’ trust, including sending them false account statements. He also posted false monthly account statements to his companies’ websites showing balances, some in excess of $800,000, for FX trading accounts that did not exist; and he sent false tax documents to customers reporting earnings that did not exist.

Lanzana misappropriated at least $350,000 in customer funds, using some to repay earlier investors in the manner of a Ponzi scheme, and to pay for his personal expenses, including purchases on Amazon, payments to a luxury car dealer and a jewelry retailer, and golf expenses.

The count of mail fraud with which Lanzana is charged carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss caused by the scheme. The count of commodities fraud carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $1 million, or twice the gross gain or loss.

There is a separate case against Lanzana launched by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The last update available about this action is that the CFTC requested a default judgment against Lanzana in July this year.

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