Securities Law Prof Blog

Editor: Eric C. Chaffee
Univ. of Toledo College of Law

Monday, December 6, 2010

SEC Charges Three with Promoting Fraudulent Forex Offering

The SEC announced the filing of a civil injunctive action in Salt Lake, Utah on November 30, 2010 alleging that Clifton K. Oram, Don C. Winkler and William R. Michael engaged in fraud by offering and selling investments in a foreign currency exchange trading ("Forex") program issued by a Mexican entity known as MexGroup or MexBank.  According to the SEC's complaint, at least 2007, Oram, Winkler and Michael collectively raised tens of millions from investors nationwide for MexGroup's Forex trading program. The defendants attracted investors by, among other things, touting impressive monthly returns posted on MexGroup's web site. In early December 2008, however, investors learned that their accounts were virtually wiped out in the previous month. MexGroup gave a number of explanations, eventually blaming allegedly illegal conduct by a Swiss Forex trading firm through which it executed trades.

This action arose from a joint SEC cooperative enforcement investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). On November 30, 2010, the CFTC filed a complementary action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, entitled CFTC v. MXBK Group S.A. de C.V., which alleges violations of U.S. federal commodities laws by MXBK and MBFX, associated entities of MexGroup.

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