Purported “experienced” FX trader gets convicted of defrauding investors
Jason Amada is sentenced to 3 to 6 years in prison for stealing more than $489,000 from investors in FX trading scheme.
New York Attorney General Letitia James has announced the conviction and sentencing of former stockbroker Jason Amada, 42, of Forest Hills, Queens, for stealing over $489,000 from victims who had invested in his fraudulent FX trading venture. Amada was sentenced in New York County Supreme Court to three to six years in prison after signing confessions of judgment in favor of his eight victims.
In September, Amada pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a Class C felony, and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a Class E felony, before the Honorable Maxwell Wiley in New York County Supreme Court. His guilty pleas resolved two sets of charges brought by the Attorney General’s Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau.
The indictment charges Amada with fraudulently soliciting a client to invest €250,000, and then losing 99% of her principal in less than 45 days of aggressive foreign currency trading. Following his arrest, additional victims reported that they had invested and lost money with Amada under similar circumstances. The Office of the Attorney General filed charges against Amada related to claims brought forward by seven other victims who were fraudulently solicited to invest with Amada between March 2015 and November 2018. In total, Amada defrauded investors out of more than $489,000.
Amada presented that he was an experienced Forex trader and the operator of multiple legitimate investment management firms. However, he failed to disclose to his victims that he had not been a licensed broker since 2012. Amada also did not reveal that the various ventures he claimed to be associated with – Amada Capital Management, LLC, Amada Capital, LLC, and Evolution FX Trading – were shell corporations with no employees or genuine operations. They also were not registered with any regulatory authorities to trade foreign currencies.
Amada persuaded the victims that he could trade Forex safely and that capital preservation strategies would be employed to protect their investments. In reality, Amada used highly-leveraged, aggressive trading tactics that resulted in the rapid and complete dissipation of his victims’ funds, while at the same time earning over $150,000 in fees and commissions for himself.
In addition to his high-risk trading strategies, Amada also diverted investor monies to pay for his own personal expenses. Between 2015 and 2018, he spent approximately $100,000 of investor dollars on travel, dining, clothing, credit card bills, personal loans, payments to family and friends, purchasing cryptocurrency, and even on online gambling; he also made over $83,000 in cash withdrawals.
In furtherance of his scheme, Amada concealed the trading losses and misappropriation of investor funds by providing his victims with fake account statements. Every month, Amada invented details of profitable trades to enter into elaborate statements that he would email his victims. These statements showed increasing account balances and swelling profits. Amada deceived some of his victims for years about the status of their investments. They only discovered the truth once they asked Amada to return their investments, and he could not do so.