Federal regulators say more than $47 million of a $75 million scheme was improperly spent; the rest was lost in the market.
A financial trading company with an office on Longboat Key has been charged in federal court with operating a $75 million foreign currency exchange scheme that misappropriated more than $47 million — and lost the rest.
Oasis International Group Limited, with offices at 444 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, was accused in federal court of fraudulently soliciting and misappropriating money from more than 700 U.S. residents for a pooled investment in the foreign exchange market, known as “forex.”
According to the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission: “Between mid-April 2014 and the present, the defendants received approximately $75 million from pool participants for investment in two commodity pools — Oasis Global FX, Limited and Oasis Global FX, SA — that would purportedly trade in forex. The defendants concealed their fraud by issuing false account statements to the pool participants. The complaint also names nine relief defendants, who are alleged to have received pool participant funds.''
Charged were: Oasis International Group, Limited; Oasis Management, LLC; Satellite Holdings Company; Michael J. DaCorta; Joseph S. Anile II; Raymond P. Montie, III; Francisco “Frank” L. Duran and John J. Haas.
A federal judge last week, before the federal enforcement action was unsealed, froze the assets of the defendants, permitting the CFTC to inspect financial records. U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Covington also appointed a temporary receiver to take control of corporate and personal assets of those charged in the case.
According to a CFTC release, investors were lured with the promise of guaranteed financial returns of at least 12% and other claims. The CFTC says the majority of the pool funds were misappropriated, and the remainder lost in the market.
Some of the misappropriated money was paid to investors in a “Ponzi-like” arrangement, the CFTC alleges.
According to the filing in federal court, among the purchases made with misappropriated funds: offices in a complex at 444 Gulf of Mexico Drive; a Lakewood Ranch home; two other properties; private plane charters; vacations; sports tickets; pet supplies; loans to family members; college tuition; and tuition for college-study abroad programs, all totaling more than $14 million.
A Maserati and Land Rover were also purchased by DaCorta for a total of $111,463.82, according to the filing.