Trader Stole $2M from Friends, FTC Says

CHICAGO (CN) – The manager of Dawson Trading stole $2.1 million from his family and friends while sending them bogus account statements for an alleged commodity pool, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission claims in Federal Court.

     Joseph Dawson of Fox Lake, Ill., spent the money to buy a house with a pool, “landscaping, furniture, restaurants, movie tickets and car payments. Moreover, Dawson has admitted his misappropriation of participant funds to multiple pool participants,” the CFTC says in its federal complaint.
     In 2000, Dawson began taking money from about 30 investors – mostly family members and friends – for a commodity pool he called the LEAP Fund. He put the money into a Dawson Trading account, to trade in “various financial instruments, including trading in commodity futures,” the CFTC says.
     Between 2005 and 2009, Dawson lost $945,000 from his account at Interactive Brokers LLC, though he told pool participants that his trading was “consistently profitable.”
     Dawson sent them falsified statements, the CTC says. “Specifically, on one occasion, Dawson issued a periodic statement to one pool participant for the quarter ending June 31, 2007 [sic] that represented the participant’s quarterly gain as $97,041.78, when in fact the DT trading account at Interactive suffered a loss of approximately $453,808 during the second quarter of 2007,” according to the complaint.
     The CFTC says that Dawson stole about $2.1 million from his friends and family.
“On information and belief, Defendants did not make significant trading gains in any other trading account during this time period.”
     The CFTC demands disgorgement, an injunction and civil penalties.

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