The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has cracked down on another fraudulent investment scheme as it filed a civil enforcement action against Abner Alejandro Tinoco and his company Kikit & Mess Investments, LLC for misappropriating investors’ funds.
Announced on Wednesday, the Texas man has solicited and misappropriated more than $3.9 million.
The agency detailed that the alleged perpetrator has been running the scheme since at least September 2020. He managed to gather the funds from at least 61 clients with assurances of managing their customized trading portfolios in foreign exchange (forex) and cryptocurrency investments.
“The defendants did not trade their clients’ funds in managed accounts; rather, they misappropriated the funds for Tinoco’s personal benefit or to pay false ‘profits’ they reported to clients in a manner similar to a Ponzi scheme,” the CFTC alleged.
The mastermind of the scheme used several channels, including the KiKit platform, to solicit funds from vulnerable investors.
“The vast majority of the clients’ funds were used to pay Tinoco’s personal expenses, such as travel costs, including chartering a private jet, renting a luxury mansion and cars, leasing a luxury automobile, as well as purchasing real estate,” the agency added.
Have to Return the Money
The CFTC is now seeking restitution for all victims of the fraud and disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, along with civil monetary penalties. Moreover, it moved for permanent trading and registration ban against Tinoco and a permanent injunction for further violations of regulations.
A US judge has already frozen the assets controlled by the defendants by signing a restraining order on October 13. In addition, he ordered to preserve the records and appointed a Temporary Receiver.
Despite CFTC’s active monitoring of the market, several fraudsters still manage to run fraudulent investment schemes. Earlier this month, the agency took action against an array of North Carolina companies for duping around 94 clients of approximately $1.05 million with a forex investment scheme.
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