CFTC charges Fla. man with fraud

By Stephanie Ostrowski | Oct 25, 2012

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - Christopher Smithers of Jupiter, Fla., was charged Tuesday with fraud in connection with commodity-related activities, as well as violating two prior U.S. District Court orders, said the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Smithers allegedly misrepresented to customers that his commodity futures trading was profitable when it was actually produced losses of $220,000 from at least October 2008 to March 2009. Allegedly, thereafter from June 22 2011 to November 2011, Smithers falsely represented the identity of the person who opened and controlled commodity trading accounts to various futures commission merchants.

According to the complaint, Smithers made such exemplifications to avoid the prior two U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida orders that prohibited him from trading commodity futures contracts.

The complaint alleges Smithers misappropriated $162,980 of a customer's funds in 2011 that were provided to him to purchase gold bullion. The claim is that he used the funds for personal expenditures.

Also during 2011, according to the complaint, Smithers fraudulently solicited a customer for funds to trade commodity futures.

The CFTC seeks civil monetary penalties and injunctive relief against Smithers.

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