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CFTC Says It Stopped $7M Ponzi Scam

MIAMI (CN) - A Florida man took $6.7 million in a Ponzi scam disguised as a foreign currency trading operation, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission claims in Federal Court. It sued Claudio Aliaga and his unregistered company, CMA Capital Management, of Miami Lakes.

Aliaga, of Davie, Fla., promised to pay returns of 2 to 3 percent per month, but used new money to pay off old investors and sent his suckers false account statements that concealed the losses on trades he did make, the CFTC says.

The agency claims he took $4.5 million from 125 private investors, but deposited less than $2 million of it into forex trading accounts. He took another $2.2 million from retail investors.

Aliaga sent his customers' money to his own Swiss accounts, spent it on "two luxury cars," travel, his mortgage and other things for himself, took $438,000 in cash, and sent along another $1 million to his wife, Betty Aliaga, a relief defendant, the CFTC says.

The CFTC seeks restitution, disgorgement, penalties and an injunction.

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