Court Fines Former Pastor Wesley Allen Brown and Associates $8.6 for Defrauding Church Members
On March 23, 2015 the CFTC filed a civil enforcement action against defendants Allen Brown, a former pastor now serving time in prison, for defrauding church congregants in violation of federal commodity laws. Brown abused his position as a religious leader to solicit and accept over $2 million from Florida church goers for a commodity pool trading futures contracts and precious metals. The CFTC complaint declared that Brown and his associate, Edward Rubin, used the $2 million to pay for their personal and business expenses, including rent, and up to $200,000 in cash withdrawals. Through his company, website, “wealthnavigator.org” Brown solicited and alluded that Maverick international, Inc., would trade commodities, futures, and precious metals on his victims behalf. The Commission sated that no trading took place and all the funds were misappropriated by the defendants. The CFTC litigated for full restitution for the victims of the scheme and a civil monetary penalty.
On March 20, 2018, Judge Brian J. Davis of the Middle District of Florida ordered Brown, his company, and Rubin to pay $8,605,274.92 in combined restitution and civil monetary penalties for the 2015 commodity pool fraud and related commodity laws violations. Stated in the CFTC press relase,
“The restitution and civil monetary penalty awards result from the Court’s entry of a Supplemental Consent Order between the CFTC and Defendants Maverick and Rubin, as well as an Order entering summary judgment against Brown. Together, the court’s rulings require the Defendants to pay $2,151,318.73 in restitution and a $6,453,956.19 civil monetary penalty. Of those amounts, Rubin is jointly and severally liable for $500,000 in restitution and $140,000 of the civil monetary penalty, while Maverick is jointly and severally liable for $2,065,178 in restitution and the entire civil monetary penalty. Brown is jointly and severally liable for the full $8,605,274.92 amount.”
Brown is currently serving time in prison for securities fraud, embezzlement, and other crimes related to the original CFTC enforcement action.