The CFTC has been able to get a permanent injunction and default judgment against former Houston resident Jeffery Alan Lowrance and First Capital Savings and Loan. As restitution for their involvement in an alleged off-exchange foreign currency Ponzi scam, both will pay $1.2 million in restitution and a civil monetary penalty of $3.3 million. They have been permanently banned from commodity-related activities.
According to the order, Lowrance and First Capital Savings and Loan fraudulently solicited at least three dozen to get involved in forex trading. The two of them allegedly falsely claimed that they were successful traders and promised up to 4.15% monthly returns on their investments. They also are accused of publishing bogus client account statements that showed supposed monthly profits on the financial firm’s Web site. The court said that not only did both Lowrance and First Capital fail to put the money clients gave them into forex trading accounts, but also, they allegedly misappropriated the funds to set up a religious newspaper, support Lowrance’s personal expenses and the expenses of his family members, and pay supposed profits to existing investors. The order mandates that any entity or person that provided Lowrance and his company with domain registration or web hosting services now pull offline any of their Web sites that are soliciting clients to trade forex or commodity futures.
It was the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois that indicted Lowrance for running a $25 million financial scam. In July, the SEC charged him with running a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme that defrauded hundreds of investors. Lowrance allegedly raised about $21 million. The investors he targeted lived in over two dozen US states. He enticed investors by claiming to share their Christian values and government views.
The SEC complaint contends that Lowrance and his financial firm told investors they were guaranteed a “predictable” income each month, along with returns as high as 7.15%. Certain clients even received bogus credit letters. Even though by 2008 Lowrance and his company had lost all of the investors funds, between June 2008 and February 2009 he still solicited at least another $1 million from at least three dozen investors.
The SEC is alleging violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and the Securities Act of 1933. It is seeking penalties, disgorgement, and other relief.
Court Orders Jeffery A. Lowrance and His Company to Pay More than $4.5 Million for Operating Foreign Currency Ponzi Scheme, CFTC
SEC CHARGES OPERATOR OF $21 MILLION FOREX PONZI SCHEME, SEC, July 15, 2011
Read the indictment (PDF)
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