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Foreign Exchange

SEC and the CFTC throw book at Global Asset Partners, Joseph C Lavin

The seedier side of the business is shown again this week in the US.

Another one bites the dust

Both the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have thrown the book at what the SEC says is a “a purported Seattle-based investment fund manager.” The SEC has charged Global Asset Partners and its principal Joseph C Lavin (aka Joseph Ivcevic) for defrauding investors of at least $5 million in a ponzi scheme. The commission adds that Lavin promised investors returns of 18% to 36% on their investments, but actually used the money to “pay for personal expenses for himself and his friends, including lavish trips, automobiles, a Seattle Mariners luxury skybox, and real estate in Costa Rica.

It adds: “Lavin converted the investors’ money to his own use. In addition, as in a classic ponzi scheme, Lavin used money raised from new investors to pay purported returns to previous investors.” He also allegedly falsified returns.

According to the CFTC, Lavin defrauded investors through a retail FX options scheme. The regulator filed a civil enforcement action on August 1 in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington. The CFTC alleges Lavin solicited retail customers in the US, Canada, France and Panama to buy FX options in a scheme to defraud them of more than $16 million.

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