CFTC Charges Florida Resident William Jeffery Chandler with Forex Fraud and Misappropriation

Federal court enters emergency order freezing defendant’s assets and protecting books and records

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recently announced that on September 11, 2012, Judge James D. Whittemore of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida entered an emergency order freezing the assets of defendant William Jeffery Chandler of Ft Myers, Fla. The court’s order also prohibits Chandler from destroying or altering books and records. The judge set a hearing on the CFTC’s motion for a preliminary injunction for September 26, 2012.

The court’s order arises out of a civil enforcement action filed by the CFTC on September 10, 2012, charging Chandler with foreign currency (forex) fraud and misappropriation. Chandler has never been registered with the CFTC in any capacity, according to the complaint.

The CFTC complaint alleges that, since at least July 2010, and continuing to the present, Chandler has solicited at least six individuals to contribute at least $773,100 to a pooled account to trade off-exchange forex contracts in Chandler’s account at Dukascopy Bank SA, a Switzerland-domiciled bank. To entice prospective pool participants to invest, Chandler allegedly guaranteed a two percent to 12.5 percent monthly return on participants’ principal.

However, according to the complaint, Chandler’s Dukascopy Bank account was closed on or about July 15, 2011, due to changes in U.S. regulations. The Dukascopy Bank account was transferred to Alpari US LLC, a U.S.-based registered Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer, on August 8, 2011, according to the complaint. At that time, the pooled account allegedly had a balance of only $292.49, far less than the amount contributed by pool participants.

Chandler allegedly continues to solicit and receive funds from pool participants to trade in his Dukascopy Bank account, even after it had closed, and continues to represent to pool participants that their funds remain in the pool in his Dukascopy Bank account. Although Chandler has received requests from many pool participants to return their funds, he refuses to refund participant’s principal, instead asserting a litany of fabricated excuses, according to the complaint. Chandler has misappropriated the vast majority of the pool’s funds for his personal use, the complaint charges.

Furthermore, pool participants received statements from a purported accounting firm named A.R. Watkins; however, upon information and belief, A.R. Watkins is a fictitious entity controlled by Chandler, according to the complaint.

In its continuing litigation, the CFTC seeks civil monetary penalties, restitution, rescission, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, trading and registration bans, and preliminary and permanent injunctions against further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations, as charged.