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Court freezes assets of Florida resident in commodity pool fraud action

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A federal court has entered an order freezing assets held by defendant David A. Owen, of Destin, Florida following a Commodity Futures Trading Commission anti-fraud enforcement action filed on 30 October 2009.

The action in the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida charged Owen with fraudulently soliciting at least USD2.5m from at least nine individuals to participate in commodity futures pools that he operated under the name of Oasis Futures.

The CFTC complaint alleges that Owen misappropriated approximately USD800,000 of customer funds for his personal use and to return funds to pool participants. Owen allegedly did not maintain pool trading accounts and lost more than USD1.6m trading commodity futures in his personal trading accounts.

He periodically made oral or written statements claiming to be profitably trading on behalf of the pool and participants. He also allegedly misrepresented the risk of loss trading commodity futures and concealed trading losses and the misappropriation by issuing false account statements to pool participants, which showed non-existent trading profits.

The complaint further alleges that Owen, holding himself out as a certified public accountant, tax attorney and financial adviser, fraudulently solicited prospective and existing pool participants by falsely claiming he had expertise and a successful track record trading commodity futures.

Based on his purported expertise, Owen allegedly pressured individuals to invest in his pools by claiming that they would miss a huge opportunity in the market if they failed to invest. Owen also allegedly failed to disclose his prior criminal convictions for fraud.

In its ongoing litigation, the CFTC seeks a permanent injunction against Owen, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, customer restitution and a civil monetary penalty.

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