The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has filed a civil enforcement action against five individuals, accusing them of running a fraudulent digital asset trading scheme.
The defendants, David Carmona, Juan Arellano Parra, Moses Valdez, David Brend, and Marco A. Ruiz Ochoa, were all associated with a business known as Icomtech.
According to the CFTC’s complaint, the defendants fraudulently solicited hundreds of thousands of dollars from over 170 individuals in the U.S. and abroad, promising to trade bitcoin and other digital assets on their behalf. The scheme primarily targeted Spanish-speaking communities.
The defendants allegedly promised “daily returns” of between 0.9% to 2.8% and claimed they would double the customers’ investments within four to eight months.
However, the CFTC alleges that the defendants did not trade as promised and instead misappropriated the funds, leading to some customers losing all their money.
In addition to the CFTC’s action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York unsealed an indictment in October 2022, charging the defendants with wire fraud in connection with the Icomtech scheme.
The CFTC is seeking restitution, disgorgement, civil monetary penalties, registration bans and permanent trading, and a permanent injunction against further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations.
The division of enforcement of the CFTC encourages customers and other individuals to promptly inform them about any suspicious activities or information that may involve potential breaches of commodity trading laws.