The CFTC has secured a federal consent order against Texas resident Larry Benny Groover for defrauding customers and misappropriating client money as part of a foreign exchange (“forex”) Ponzi scheme. Groover has been ordered to pay $2.69 million in restitution and civil monetary penalty. Relief defendant Joanne Groover is also required to disgorge the $44,890 in ill-gotten gains she received as a result of her husband’s misconduct.
According to the court order, from June 18, 2008 to February 2, 2010, Groover fraudulently solicited about $1.4 million. Though the funds were to be used to trade forex, the defendant co-mingled the money with his personal funds. Approximately $647,500 was actually used to trade forex. Groover lost nearly all of that money in poor trades.
He misappropriated the remainder of the funds for personal expenses, on everything from health and medical care, and cable television to groceries, dining, auto repair, gasoline, and insurance, according to the order. Groover also used customer funds to buy software and trade publications, and occasionally to make payments directly to himself and his wife.