A U.S. District Court in Florida has ordered Philip Milton, of Palm Beach Gardens, and Palm Spring Gardens-based investment advisory firm Trade, LLC to pay millions in restitution and penalties for operating a $28.4 million commodity-pool Ponzi scheme. Four relief defendants, all Florida corporations, also were ordered to pay millions in disgorgement.
The court’s order followed the 2010 filing of a CFTC complaint against the defendants that charged them with fraudulently soliciting approximately $28.4 million from hundreds of customers in a commodity pool trading program. The complaint further alleged that the defendants misappropriated at least $9.6 million of investor funds for their personal use and to perpetuate the scheme.
“Despite taking in at least $28 million from investors, the defendants were not successful traders and placed only $15 million of investors’ funds in trading accounts at the pool, which consistently lost money during all but two months of its operation,” stated the CFTC in a July 2010 press release.
Judge Daniel Hurley of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida ordered Milton to pay $10.8 million in restitution. Trade, LLC was ordered to pay more than $11.4 million in restitution and $28.4 million in civil monetary penalties. Relief Defendants BD, LLC; CMJ Capital, LLC; Center Richmond, LLC; and TWTT, LLC; must disgorge $545,200; $2,826,981.37; $1,253,862.62; and $100,000, respectively.
The SEC filed a similar complaint against Trade, LLC and its managing members in June 2010. For additional information about the SEC’s case against Phillip Milton and Trade, LLC., click here.