CFTC Charges Argentine Trader With Fraud

Jan 17 2008 | 1:00am ET

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission yesterday filed a federal lawsuit against Diego Mariano Rolando of Buenos Aires, Argentina, charging him with defrauding hundreds of customers from around the world in a US$43.8 million investment scheme.

In a two-count enforcement action, the CFTC alleges that Rolando fraudulently traded customer funds in commodity futures and options contracts; provided false account statements to customers; and supplied false customer contact information to a U.S. clearing firm to hide his scheme from investors.

Specifically, he allegedly told investors that he would trade securities on their behalf; however, he traded tens of millions of dollars in investor funds in commodity futures and options contracts, without customer knowledge or authorization to trade in the commodity markets.

In all, the complaint alleges that Rolando solicited approximately US$43.8 million from more than 400 investors in South America, Europe, and the U.S.

“While the continuing growth of the internet and electronic communications systems expand investment opportunities for customers around the globe, it also means new opportunities for unscrupulous crooks to try to take advantage of investors,” said CFTC director of enforcement Gregory Mocek.

The CFTC is seeking a permanent injunction, restitution to defrauded investors, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, and a civil monetary penalty, among other sanctions.

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