CFTC Clamps Down On Another Ponzi Scheme

Feb 11 2009 | 2:39am ET

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has filed an enforcement action against an Edmond, Okla., man and his hedge fund for allegedly running $34 million Ponzi scheme.

The CFTC’s complaint alleges that, from at least 2005 to the present, Mark Trimble, purveyor of Phidippides Capital, operated a $34 million hedge fund with approximately 60 investors. Since October 2007, Trimble has allegedly issued false account statements, failed to disclose the fund’s actual multi-million trading losses and paid redemptions based on the fund’s fabricated profitability. Additionally, he allegedly received over $1 million in management fees based on false reports of trading profits.

According to the complaint, Trimble’s activities were exposed last month, after he provided the Federal Bureau of Investigation a fictitious 2008 year-end trading account showing millions of dollars in trading profits that did not square with actual trading statements issued by his brokerage firm that disclosed millions of dollars in trading losses.

Trimble subsequently sent an email sent to his brokerage firm, and addressed to “Family, Friends, and Clients,” that he had not been “honest” about the hedge fund’s trading results, explaining, “The reason our balances are off is because I could not look myself in the mirror and face all of you and notify you that in the last quarter of 2008 we lost all the profits for the year and then some.”

In conjunction with the filing of the complaint today in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, the CFTC is seeking a statutory restraining order freezing defendants’ assets and preserving records. Trimble has consented to the entry of an asset freeze order.


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