PHOENIX (CN) - A Scottsdale man defrauded clients of $280,000 in a Ponzi scheme, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission says. The CFTC says Helmut H. Weber and Weber Capital Management promised investors 3 to 10 percent monthly returns even after the Arizona Corporation Commission served Weber with a cease-and-desist order.
Weber solicited money through Web sites and clamed he would use it for off-exchange foreign currency transactions from June 18, 2008 until at least Jan. 31, 2009, according to the federal complaint.
He told clients "he would open segregated, individually managed trading accounts in their name," and that he was a master foreign currency trader, and that profits would be produced by his monthly trading of accounts.
In September 2008, the Arizona Corporation Commission's Securities Division served a cease-and-desist order to Weber, telling him to stop his Ponzi scheme and take down his Web sites: www.weberfx.com and www.webercapitalmanagement.com.
But Weber continued his scam, soliciting new investors with the same misrepresentations and claiming on a new Web site that he was "trading profitably," the CFTC says.
Once a sucker signed up, Weber "heavily pressured these existing clients to introduce him to their friends and family and thereby gained additional clients," the CFTC says.
He sent them fraudulent account statements that claimed they "were achieving substantial profits," the CFTC says. Those "profits" came from new suckers' money paying off old ones, a class Ponzi scheme, the CFTC says.
Weber did not open any individually traded accounts for his clients, and did not earn profits," the CFTC says. He did use some of his clients' money to open accounts in his own name, but never made any money at it, the agency says.
Weber, a German citizen whose age is unknown, had a "last known address" in Scottsdale. He ran his scam out of "a series of homes he rented in the Scottsdale, Arizona area," never registered with the CFTC in any capacity.