CFTC Charges Five Defendants with Fraudulent Digital Assets Trading Scheme

(HedgeCo.Net) The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has filed a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against David Carmona formerly of Elmhurst, New York, Juan Arellano Parra formerly of Chino, California, Moses Valdez of Hesperia, California, David Brend of Tampa, Florida and Marco A. Ruiz Ochoa of Nashua, New Hampshire, all jointly doing business as Icomtech. 

The complaint charges the defendants with fraudulently soliciting hundreds of thousands of dollars from more than 170 individuals in the U.S. and other countries for Icomtech to supposedly trade bitcoin and other digital asset commodities for them, and for misappropriating customer funds. The complaint alleges the defendants’ fraud and misappropriation scheme predominately targeted Spanish-speaking communities.

In its continuing litigation against the defendants, the CFTC seeks restitution, disgorgement, civil monetary penalties, permanent trading and registration bans, and a permanent injunction against further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations, as charged.

Case Background

The complaint alleges from approximately August 2018 through December 2019, to get actual and prospective customers to give them money, the defendants and other Icomtech agents falsely represented they would use the money to trade Bitcoin and other digital asset commodities for the customers; that Icomtech would provide “daily returns” of between 0.9% to 2.8% on the customers’ money from trading; and Icomtech would double the customers’ money in approximately four to eight months from trading. As alleged in the complaint, in actuality, the defendants did not trade Bitcoin or other digital asset commodities for the customers as they said, and did not earn daily returns nor double the customers’ investments based on trading. Instead, the defendants misappropriated the customer funds, and some customers lost all of their money.

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