New York (HedgeCo.Net) – Idaho Falls resident Daren L. Palmer has been charged with operating a $40 million Ponzi scheme through his unregistered company, Trigon Group, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Palmer is being charged with solicitation fraud and misappropriation of pool funds after it was discovered he used client funds for personal expenses and failed to register with the CFTC as a commodity pool operator.
According to the complaint, Palmer allegedly bilked $40 million from investors since at least September 2000, by promising returns of 7 percent monthly and 20 percent annually. From that $40 million, he only placed $4.5 million in his trading accounts.
“This is another unfortunate example of the maxim, ‘If it appears too good to be true, it probably is,’ said Stephen J. Obie, Acting Director of the CFTC.
Palmer fraudulently claimed he was a successful futures trader and that his pool had a successful track record. Palmer doctored false account statements as a means to keep up the appearance. He later admitted to using new capital coming in to pay off older investors, in a typical Ponzi scheme fashion.
Palmer withdrew about $25,000 to $35,000 per month and used the money to pay off credit card debt, build a new home, and purchase snowmobiles. Palmer’s next hearing is scheduled for April 23rd.
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