The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is suing an alleged Ponzi scammer on claims he and his company raised half a million dollars for cryptocurrency investments, which instead went to personal uses.
According to a press release, Breonna Clark, otherwise known as Eliot Clark or Alexander Pak, and his firm Venture Capital Investments Ltd. and The Life Group allegedly raised $534,829 from 72 victims, promising to invest funds in bitcoin, altcoins and foreign currency contracts. Instead, some $400,000 in funds went to personal uses, including the purchase of a BMW.
The CFTC is charging Clark with fraud by a commodity pool operator and commodity trading advisor, fraud by deceptive device, failure to register as a commodity pool operator and failure to register as a commodity trading advisor.
Clark created “false account statements” to mislead investors, and used some of the funds he raised to pay off other investors, an attached complaint claims. “A small portion” of the funds were ultimately used to trade on the pool’s behalf.
“At various times during the Relevant Period, several pool participants requested to withdraw funds from their accounts. In some instances, Clark failed to respond at all to a pool participant’s request. In other instances, Clark responded with false excuses. Among the false excuses Clark made to pool participants why Defendants could not comply was that the CFTC was conducting an ‘audit,'” the complaint said (the CFTC did not conduct an audit).
Clark did not return any of the funds raised through the alleged scheme, the complaint said.
The press release thanked the Financial Supervision Commission of Bulgaria, Financial Markets Authority of New Zealand, Seychelles Financial Services Authority, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Financial Services Authority and the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.
Read the full complaint below:
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