Calif. man accused of commodity pool scheme

Michael P. Tremoglie Aug. 31, 2012, 10:27am

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Wednesday filed a complaint against Jeffrey Gustaveson, charging him with fraud, misappropriation and issuing false statements in an approximately $2.5 million commodity pool scheme.

A commodity pool scheme occurs when people and/or firms fraudulently raise funds and pool them together to trade commodity futures. Pool operators often use their reputations or personal relationships to solicit investment money from friends, neighbors, co-workers, church members, or social groups.

According to the CFTC complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Gustaveson, of Carlsbad, Calif., accepted at least $2,495,000 from at least four individuals to invest in a commodity futures pool from January 2010 through July 2010. But he allegedly only used approximately $400,000 of the funds to trade commodity futures, which resulted in a net loss. He used about another $400,000 for personal expenses, the CFTC claims.

He hid the crime, allegedly, by distributing to pool participants false statements that misrepresented the value of the pool. He reported false profits, and failed to disclose his embezzlement of pool participants' funds, the CFTC says.

Gustaveson admitted in a California state court proceeding that he had embezzled money and falsified financial statements, the CFTC said. The CFTC wants restitution to the defrauded customers, civil monetary penalties, trading and registration bans and permanent injunctions.

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