The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission has charged Georgia-based Joseph L. Autry, Jr. and his company, Autry Capital Management, with fraudulently operating a Ponzi scheme that solicited and received approximately USD265,200 from seven customers to trade commodity futures contracts.
Autry, who has never been registered with the CFTC, allegedly ran the scheme from at least May 2008 until January 2010.
The CFTC complaint, filed on 21 September in the US District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, charges that Autry misappropriated more than USD176,000 of pooled customer funds to pay his personal debts and expenses.
Autry is also charged with paying supposed returns to customers using the customer’s own funds or funds of new customers, as is typical of a Ponzi scheme.
Autry also allegedly used misappropriated customer funds to pay himself fees and commissions based on fabricated trading profits.
To conceal the misappropriation, Autry sent ACM customers false statements showing bogus trading profits when he knew no such profits existed, the complaint charges.
In its continuing litigation, the CFTC seeks full restitution to defrauded customers, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, rescission of contracts, civil monetary penalties, trading and registration bans and a permanent injunction against further violations of federal commodities laws.