The CFTC charged Ronald W. Smith, Jr., doing business as Safeguard 3030 Investment Club, with operating a Ponzi scheme involving the fraudulent solicitation of at least $800,000 from at least 34 customers in connection with forex trading. The CFTC complaint also charges the defendant with misappropriating approximately $800,000 of customer funds for personal use and to pay out purported profits and with issuing false customer statements to conceal the fraudulent misuse of funds.
Smith fraudulently operated a forex trading scam, luring customers to trade managed forex accounts or pooled forex investments by claiming forex trading success and offering promises of quick and large returns, such as 30 percent in 30 days. Smith allegedly claimed that 95 percent of his trades are winning trades. Smith also used a website and a video posting on www.youtube.com to solicit customers, according to the complaint. In reality, however, Smith used little, if any, of the funds to trade forex. Instead, he used customer funds for personal expenses, such as for pool services, carpeting and furniture, according to the complaint. Customer funds also were allegedly used for purported profit payouts and for business expenses.
Relief defendants Tigre and Duty Smith opened and maintained the bank account into which defendant Smith directed customers to deposit their funds. As further alleged, no funds from this bank account appeared to be directed to any trading; instead the account was used as a personal checking account of the Smiths.
Defendant Smith allegedly used a video posting on www.youtube.com to lure and solicit customers