CFTC Goes After Maize Fund Operator

CHICAGO (CN) – The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has joined the SEC in claiming that a private fund manager stole $2 million of the $10 million he raised from 300 investors. The CFTC says Scott M. Ross and Maize Capital Management lured investors with false financial statements.

     Beginning in 2007, Ross solicited investors for three “pooled investment enterprises,” including Maize Asset Management, the CFTC says.
     Ross created a “pitchbook” falsely informing consumers that Maize Capital was a legally “exempt” commodity pool operator and declaring that fund participants must be “sophisticated investors” willing to make a $500,000 minimum investment, the CFTC says.
     It says Ross and his ventures have never registered with the CFTC “in any capacity.” And it claims that Ross accepted investments from unqualified purchasers, and that all but one invested less than $500,000. “Some participants invested as little as $15,000” the complaint states.
     The “pitchbook” falsely named Michael J. Liccar & Co. as administrator of the Maize Fund, and Arthur Bell as the fund’s auditor, when in fact the fund never had an administrator or auditor, the CFTC says. It says Ross unlawfully received investors’ money in a Maize Asset account instead of the Maize Fund.
     Ross sent false account statements to purchasers, and one participant was led to believe that his account had profited by 41.45 percent, when in fact it had lost more than 40 percent during the period, according to the complaint.
     Ross, of Gilberts, Ill., operated the Maize funds out of Schaumburg.
     The CFTC seeks disgorgement, penalties and an injunction.

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