Forex Ponzi Scheme Trader Arrested After Stealing $900,000

The U.S federal authorities in South Carolina have arrested Thomas Lanzana for charges of defrauding a minimum of 20 people, as the media report.

Lanzana, 51-year-old, and a former resident of New Jersey, was arrested in Park City Kanas, in the United States of America, as U.S Attorney Craig Carpenito announced on Wednesday.

As per the Department of Justice, the main two charges of was Lanzana accused, were wire fraud and commodities fraud, through which the defendant collected around $900,000 by soliciting funds from at least 20 clients, since early 2013.

In the statement of the US Department of Justice (DOJ), said that the investments were highly successful financial instruments.

Falsely claiming that he was an experienced and successful forex trader, Lanzana managed to encourage clients to invest in algorithm-based trading pools in forex derivatives and other financial instruments.

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The defendant also forged account statements and sent them to his clients, along with fake tax documents, in addition to posting counterfeit monthly account statements on his company’s website.

No evidence on the ground yet!

The complaint filed outlines that through what he did, he embezzled around $350,000 from clients’ assets he was entrusted, with some of them paid him in advance, which identifies with a Ponzi Scheme.

Among the other details the complaint read, the defendant seems to have spent some of the clients’ funds for his own personal uses, where purchases on Amazon were proven on the defendant’s name, along with verifying golf expenses and payments to a jewellery retailer, in addition to a luxury car dealer who was proven to have dealt with Lanzana.

In front of the above mentioned, Lanzana faces a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss he caused the people in his Ponzi Scheme, as for the charge of mail fraud, and a maximum penalty of 10-years imprisonment and a $1 million fine, or twice the gross gain or loss, for the charge of commodities fraud.

The Department of Justice noted that up until now, the aforementioned charges were not yet fully authenticated, in reference to that Lanzana is considered innocent until proven guilty.

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