Thursday, October 28, 2010
The SEC charged two foreign currency traders and their Boston-based company with operating a fraudulent scheme in which they sent investors misleading account statements while stealing their funds and incurring major trading losses. According to the SEC, Craig Karlis and Ahmet Devrim Akyil fraudulently raised approximately $40 million from approximately 750 investors in a purported foreign currency (Forex) trading venture through their firm Boston Trading and Research LLC (BTR). Investors were falsely promised that BTR had a system in place to limit trading losses. BTR also falsely claimed to investors that "we do not profit unless you do" while in reality Karlis and Akyil were illegally diverting investor money for their own personal use as well as to fund BTR's operations and pay expenses for other companies with which they were associated.
According to the SEC's complaint, for a minimum investment of $10,000, investors could deposit money with the BTR program. BTR used a website, sales representatives and live presentations by Karlis and Akyil to solicit funds from investors around the world. Investors provided Akyil with a limited power of attorney that granted him the right to direct the trading of their funds in the Forex market. The SEC's complaint charges Akyil, Karlis, and BTR with violating the antifraud and registration provisions of the federal securities laws, and seeks civil injunctions, the return of ill-gotten gains, and financial penalties.
Separately, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts today unsealed an indictment charging Akyil and Karlis with criminal violations based on the same misconduct.