(CN) – A Joliet, Ill. man took $3.6 million in a Ponzi scheme and spent some of it on a BMW, a Rolex and a down payment on a condo in Greece, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission claims in Federal Court.
The CFTC filed and settled a complaint against James Giacomo Brandolino, accuing him of running fraudulent futures investment schemes and swiping his customers’ money.
The CFTC fined him $1 million and ordered him not to do it again, and never to apply for registration with the CFTC.
The CFTC says Brandolino took $3.6 million from people, including his family and friends, to invest in managed accounts and commodity futures pools.
The accounts were operated by his companies Lloyd Lewis Capital Inc. and Falcon Capital Partners LLC, according to the CFTC Order.
“From July 2006 to January 2011, respondent received and accepted approximately $3.6 million from participants,” the CFTC said in its Order. “During this period, respondent misappropriated approximately $1 million of those funds for various personal expenses and purchases, including, but not limited to, a BMW, a Rolex watch, and a down payment on an unbuilt condominium in Greece. Respondent lost approximately $781,000 while trading during this period. Respondent used approximately $1.3 million to pay back principal and purported profit, as is typical of a Ponzi scheme.”
Brandolino pleaded guilty to mail fraud in August 2011 and is in federal custody awaiting sentencing, the CFTC said in a statement.