The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission has filed a civil enforcement action charging Marc Perlman and his firm, iGlobal Strategic Management, with operating a commodity pool Ponzi scheme that fraudulently solicited and accepted at least USD670,000 from at least 17 people, largely from the deaf community.
Perlman was a principal and officer of iGlobal, and neither defendant has ever been registered with the CFTC.
Specifically, the CFTC complaint, filed on 28 August 2012, alleges that from at least March 2009 through at least November 2011, iGlobal and Perlman fraudulently solicited individuals to invest in a pooled investment vehicle to trade leveraged off-exchange foreign currency contracts (forex). Perlman furthered his and iGlobal’s fraudulent scheme by playing upon the Christian faith of certain iGlobal investors, using claims about his own faith and references to scripture to obtain the trust of certain iGlobal investors, according to the complaint.
The complaint further charges that less than half of the funds invested by the iGlobal investors, or approximately USD305,000, were used to trade forex, resulting in losses that consumed nearly all of the invested funds.
The rest of the funds were allegedly used for unauthorised purposes, including 1) payouts of fictitious “profits” to certain iGlobal investors, 2) cash withdrawals of funds that were not re-deposited into the iGlobal trading or bank accounts, 3) charges at department stores, electronic stores, grocery stores, and restaurants, and 4) payment of rent for Perlman’s personal residence.
iGlobal and Perlman misrepresented that the iGlobal investors’ funds would be invested in forex and fraudulently omitted and/or concealed that iGlobal and Perlman used and planned to use investor funds for purposes other than forex investments, according to the complaint.
In addition, iGlobal and Perlman allegedly misrepresented that trades executed in connection with the iGlobal investments were profitable and that certain iGlobal investors were earning and were being paid, or would be paid, profits from the trading. iGlobal and Perlman also allegedly issued false written statements that reported profits and listed the respective iGlobal investors’ full principal when, in fact, more than half of the funds had been misappropriated and the trading resulted in net losses.
In its continuing litigation, the CFTC seeks restitution to defrauded investors, a return of ill-gotten gains, civil monetary penalties, trading and registration bans, and permanent injunctions against further violations of federal commodities laws, as charged.