The Department of Justice has charged Michael Richard Bark, a lawyer based in Gretna, Louisiana, with wire fraud in connection with a forex investment scheme. If convicted, Bark could spend up to 20 years in prison, and pay a $250,000 fine in addition to restitution.
According to the bill of information, from November 2006 to February 2009 Bark actively solicited investors to trade forex futures. He told potential customers that he could bring them a 12-30% return on their investment each month, resulting in an annual windfall. However, once in possession of client funds, Bark invested them a variety of other unauthorized business ventures. In order to avoid exposure, he sent false account statements to clients showing the profits he promised. Bark ultimately caused a total loss of $1,605,942 to his clients.