Calif. CPO Charged With Fraud

Sep 4 2008 | 8:21am ET

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has sued Forward Investment Group of Santa Monica, Calif., and its sole manager, Robert Bame, accusing them of commodity pool fraud.

According to the CFTC, Bame allegedly issued to one or more investors a forged and false “daily” commodity trading statement supposedly issued by a futures commission merchant. The trading statement indicated that the firm had a total net liquidating value of more than $77 million on Dec. 14, 2007. However, the CFTC alleges that the actual net liquidating value of the account on that date was just $4,486.

The CFTC also alleges that Bame, who it says sustained trading losses of approximately $595,000 from February 2007 through May 2008, lied to a staff member of the National Futures Association about the number and identities of the investors in the Forward commodity pool, and that the pool only had $400,000 in assets.

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has issued a restraining order prohibiting Bame from destroying documents or denying CFTC staff access to books and records. The CFTC also seeks a return of allegedly ill-gotten gains, repayments to defrauded investors, and monetary penalties, among other relief.

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