The US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are accusing Houston attorney and accountant Daniel Petroski and Texas A & M Professor Robert Watson of using forged bank records to engage in investor fraud. On May 21, the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas froze the assets of the two men and of two firms associated with the alleged misconduct.
According to the two agencies, Petroski and Watson raised over $19 million from about 65 investors, while claiming they would use a foreign-currency trading software, “Alpha One,” that they said belonged to their company, Private FX Global One Ltd. Watson’s “deal clearing company, “36 Holdings,” was also to participate in the investing.
The SEC and the CFTC contend that the two men engaged in misrepresentation when they made it appear as if their foreign exchange trading business never had a losing month, achieved a yearly return of over 23%, and that their venture had millions of dollars in Swiss and US bank accounts. The two agencies are also accusing the two men of generating bogus records for investigators, including records indicating that 36 Holdings had an account with Deutsche Bank where Global One earned over $2 million this year by trading foreign currencies. In fact, 36 Holdings does not have a Deutsche Bank account.
In addition, the SEC’s complaint accuses the two men of putting, at maximum, 33% of their proceeds in a Swiss bank before transferring some $5 million to a Houston bank-even though they told investors that the amount of foreign currency and other assets was closer to 80%. The defendants are also accused of giving their own employees bogus Swiss bank statements and making false claims that 36 Holdings had nearly $70 million deposited there.
The SEC accuses the defendants of violating the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934’s Section 10(b), Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and the Securities and Exchange Commission Act of 1933’s Section 17(a). The CFTC and the SEC are seeking a preliminary injunction, final judgment from permanent enjoinment of future violations, disgorgement with interest, and fines.
Related Web Resources:
SEC OBTAINS ASSET FREEZE AND TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST ROBERT D. WATSON, DANIEL J. PETROSKI, PRIVATEFX GLOBAL ONE LTD., SA AND 36 HOLDINGS, LTD., SEC.gov, May 26, 2009
Read the SEC Complaint (PDF)
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