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CFTC charges residents of Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas with crypto fraud

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The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has initiated legal proceedings against individuals and their organization, Fundsz, citing their involvement in a deceptive scheme concerning cryptocurrencies and precious metals trading.

Rene Larralde from Melbourne, Florida; Juan Pablo Valcarce from West Melbourne, Florida; Brian Early from New Orleans, Louisiana; and Alisha Ann Kingrey from Franklin, Arkansas, along with their unincorporated entity Fundsz, face allegations of misleading investment solicitations. They allegedly enticed investors with implausible returns based on a purported “proprietary algorithm.“

The CFTC lodged a complaint in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, alleging that the defendants attracted customers by promising steady 3% weekly profits through cryptocurrency and precious metal trading.

It claims the individuals inaccurately portrayed Fundsz as a profitable venture, asserting that a $2,500 investment could grow to $1 million in just 48 months. Additionally, the accused falsely linked Fundsz to charitable initiatives, capitalizing on the allure of contributing to worthy causes.

The regulatory body also claims the defendants enticed over 14,000 individuals by creating false weekly returns. However, as per the CFTC, Fundsz did not actually trade customer funds. The venture seems to have been established upon fabricated profits and deceptive claims.

Related: Binance, CZ challenge CFTC lawsuit, seek dismissal

Judge Wendy Berger issued a unilateral statutory restraining order, effectively freezing the defendants’ assets and designating a temporary receiver. A preliminary injunction hearing is set for Aug. 23. The CFTC seeks to ensure fairness by pursuing restitution for deceived investors, reclaiming ill-gotten gains, imposing financial penalties, enacting bans on trading and registration and securing a lasting injunction against future infractions.

Previously, the CFTC revealed that a default judgment had been issued by Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Michael Ackerman, who was accused of operating a fraudulent scheme that solicited funds from individuals and entities under false pretenses.

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