The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has obtained a Consent Order against James Harvey Mason of Graham, North Carolina. The CFTC found that Mr. Mason was never registered with the CFTC in any capacity. According the CFTC, the consent order against Mr. Mason imposes a $1.67 million civil monetary penalty and restitution of $3.88 million in relevance to off-exchange foreign currency commodity pool fraud along with a permanent trading and registration ban.
The CFTC alleged that around July 2010, Mr. Mason fraudulently solicited, accepted and pooled approximately $5,300,000 from about 500 individuals. According to the CFTC, Mr. Mason only used a portion of the funds to trade off-exchange foreign contracts in two commodity pools he formed; the JHM Forex Only Pool and Forex Trading at Home. He allegedly deposited investor funds in bank accounts from when he allegedly misappropriated approximately $780,000 and made payments as part of a “Ponzi sheme.” A “Ponzi scheme” is an unsustainable fraud pyramid that inevitably ends in ruin. Schemers use money raised from latter investors to pay an earlier investor’s returns. Ponzi schemes invariably fall apart when markets deteriorate or when the schemer is unable to raise more cash. Continue reading →