The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is cracking down on a deceptive cryptocurrency and precious metals trading scheme, leading to legal proceedings against several individuals and their organization, Fundsz.

Deceptive Investment Solicitations

Rene Larralde, based in Melbourne, Florida, Juan Pablo Valcarce from West Melbourne, Florida, Brian Early hailing from New Orleans, Louisiana, and Alisha Ann Kingrey from Franklin, Arkansas, are all under the regulatory spotlight.

The CFTC accuses them, along with their unincorporated entity Fundsz, of engaging in misleading investment solicitations. Central to their strategy was the enticing promise of implausible returns, supposedly backed by a “proprietary algorithm.”

False Promises and Alleged Charitable Connections

Further, the CFTC’s complaint, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, outlines how the defendants presented Fundsz as a highly profitable opportunity. They also claimed that an investment of $2,500 could balloon into a staggering $1 million in just 48 months.

Exploiting investors’ goodwill, the accused even linked Fundsz to charitable initiatives, adding an element of social responsibility to their pitch.

By fabricating weekly returns, the defendants managed to attract a substantial number of individuals – over 14,000 to be exact. However, the truth, according to the CFTC, is that Fundsz never actually engaged in trading with customer funds. The entire enterprise seems to have been built on a foundation of falsehoods, using fabricated profits to lure in unsuspecting investors.

Legal Measures and Future Proceedings

Notably and in response to these allegations, Judge Wendy Berger of the U.S. District Court took swift action. A unilateral statutory restraining order was issued, effectively freezing the defendants’ assets and appointing a temporary receiver. The next step in this legal battle is a preliminary injunction hearing scheduled for August 23.

Importantly, the CFTC is dedicated to ensuring justice for deceived investors by seeking restitution, reclaiming ill-gotten gains. Additionally, imposing financial penalties and imposing bans on trading and registration. They also aim to secure a lasting injunction against future misconduct.

Previous Action and Continued Vigilance

Moreover, this is not the first time the CFTC has taken action against fraudulent actors. In a related case, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a default judgment against Michael Ackerman, a resident of Alliance, Ohio, establishing a permanent injunction.

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