Friday, February 27, 2009

CFTC Plays Catch Up To SEC, Copies Their Aphorisms

Today the CFTC, which Harry Markopolos had no choice words against in his congressional testimony, and so far has not seen a lot of public anger for lack of action and complacency, has started turning on the afterburners. First it announced it would investigate bubble ETF USO earlier today, and subsequently released a press release disclosing its first Ponzi charge of one Daren Palmer, who ran a $40 million Ponzi with unregistered Trigon Group.

Palmer did what every self respecting Ponzier does: lied about his record and promised phenomenal returns.

The CFTC complaint alleges that, from at least September 2000 through present, Palmer fraudulently solicited approximately $40 million from dozens of individuals and entities to participate in a commodity futures pool to trade commodity futures or options on commodity futures contracts. In soliciting prospective and existing participants, Palmer allegedly claimed that he was a successful commodity futures trader, that his pool had a successful track record, and that the pool achieves positive returns of as much as 7 percent monthly and 20 percent annually.
Wow... Another ponzier - who cares at this point (although we do feel for the investors who were duped by Daren). What is amusing is that the CFTC, due to lack of media exposure (which the SEC and FINRA have seen waaaay too much of), copies verbatim soundbites in this PR, with a comparable soundbite the SEC used a mere 2 days ago. CFTC acting director of enforcement Stephen Obie had this memorable quote in the PR "This is another unfortunate example of the maxim, ‘If it appears too good to be true, it probably is." Amusingly his colleague at the much maligned SEC Scott Friestad used exactly the same clip on February 25 when the SEC let all hell loose on James Nicholson of Westgate Capital: "It’s often said that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is."

One would think with the upcoming trillions in the U.S. budget deficit, these regulatory firms can at least afford to hire one or two interns who do not copy off each other's press statements. Although at this point, it should be perfectly clear to anyone, anywhere to run away from everything that "seems too good to be true" as FINRA still has to issue an identical statement, so they must be leaving no rock unturned for an opportunity to use this most abused cliche.
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Unknown said...

Weird how all these Ponzi guys are showing up just a few months after Obama takes office.

It is almost as though the SEC was not even looking for them during the Bush years.