Alleged forex markets fraudster arrested in US over Ponzi scheme claims

Rebecca Sachs

ponzi schemeAn American man who allegedly ran a foreign currency Ponzi scheme which ripped off investors to the tune of almost one million US dollars has been taken into custody.

Thomas Lanzana, who was formerly of the state of New Jersey but now lives in South Carolina, allegedly told at least 20 possible customers that his foreign currency products were very successful.

However, according to allegations from the Department for Justice (DoJ), the reality is that his scheme was a fraud and that in some cases he used the deposited funds to either pay himself or pay back earlier investors as false profits.

Allegedly, he used other deposits from investors to buy items for himself including purchases from online retailer Amazon, car dealers and more.

According to the DoJ, Lanzana, who spent time living in New Jersey’s Bergen County but was arrested in Park City in the state of Kansas, began his scheme as early as five years ago.

“As early as 2013, Lanzana fraudulently solicited approximately $900,000 from at least 20 customers to invest in algorithm-based trading pools in foreign currency derivatives (forex) and other financial instruments”, the DoJ’s statement said.

He is also believed to have created a number of fake documents which supported his position, including fake tax documents and mocked-up account balances which did not reflect the reality of the situation.

“He falsely claimed to prospective customers that he was a successful forex trader. Lanzana allegedly took several steps to keep his customers’ trust: he sent them false account statements; he posted false monthly account statements to his companies’ websites showing balances, some in excess of $800,000, for forex trading accounts that did not exist; and he sent false tax documents to customers reporting earnings that did not exist”, the DoJ continued.

“Lanzana misappropriated at least $350,000 in customer funds, using some to repay earlier investors in the manner of a Ponzi scheme, and to pay for his personal expenses, including purchases on Amazon, payments to a luxury car dealer and a jewellery retailer, and golf expenses”, it added.

Lanzana now faces a number of sentencing options if he is found guilty. He faces a charge of mail fraud, and if he is convicted of this, then he could face 20 years in jail in addition to a fine of $250,000 – or twice the gross gain or loss his alleged fraud led to.

He also faces a count of commodities fraud, which carries a ten year prison sentence as well as a fine of $1 million (or, again, twice the gross gain or loss).

A number of officers have worked on the case. In a statement, US Attorney Carpenito thanked some of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s special agents, including Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie, as well as some of the special agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigation group.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Enforcement is also believed to have assisted.

Assistant US Attorney David W. Feder of the US Attorney’s Office’s Cyber Crime Unit will lead the case for the prosecution.


Rebecca Sachs

Latest news

Scammers Are About – How to Find a Safe Broker
A core part of the Forex Fraud service involves sharing information to help traders stay safe. Read more
Jittery Markets – What to Look Out For On 26th of January 2021
Monday saw the markets stall and nosedive on the back of more bad news for the aviation sector. Read more

Safest Forest Brokers 2020

Broker Info Best In Customer Satisfaction Score
#1 ForexTime LogoYour capital is at risk Founded: 2011 Global CFD & FX Broker
Number One Broker
BEST FOREX BROKER Visit broker
5
#2 Forex Broker Pepperstone LogoCFDs and FX are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Founded: 2010 Global Forex Broker
Number One Broker
Low minimum deposit Visit broker
4.9
#3 Your capital is at risk Founded: 2014 Global Forex & CFD Broker
Number One Broker
Best Trading Conditions Visit broker
4.9
#4 Your capital is at risk Founded: 2006 Globally regulated broker
Number One Broker
BEST CUSTOMER SUPPORT Visit broker
4.9
#5 BlackBull MarketsYour capital is at risk Founded: 2014 Global Forex Broker
Number One Broker
BEST SPREADS Visit broker
4.8

    Forex Fraud Certified Brokers

    IQ Option Logo
    FXTM Logo
    Plus500 Small Logo
    XM Logo
    Pepperstone
    LegacyFX Small Logo
    HYCM Logo
    IC Markets Logo
    ATFX Logo
    OctaFX Logo
    Exness Small Logo
    City Index Logo
    BlackBull Markets Small Logo
    Oanda Small Logo
    Forex.com Logo
    skilling logo