MANHATTAN (CN) - California-based Arista and the two men who run it defrauded investors of $9.5 million and took $4.1 million of it as "purported fees," the CFTC claims in court.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission sued Arista LLC, Abdul Sultan Walji aka Abdul Sultan Valji, and Reniero Francisco, in Federal Court.
Arista is based in Newport Coast, Calif. Walji, its CEO, lives in San Juan Capistrano and Francisco, of Coastal Oak, is its president.
The CFTC claims the men "carried out of fraudulent scheme to misappropriate millions of dollars from investors in commodity futures and options."
They scooped up more than $9.5 million from 39 suckers, lost more than $4.8 million of it in bad trades, and took $4.125 million in "purported fees," leaving their victims with less than $1 million, the CFTC said.
They ran the scam from February 2010 through January this year, and claimed in September 2011 that they had made 99 percent in profits on investment, though their actual rate of return was negative 47 percent, the CFTC said.
They also reported a net asset value of $8.4 million while they actually had only $523,000, according to the complaint.
The SCTC seeks disgorgement, restitution and injunctions.
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