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Daily fraud update: 20th April

Published:
Updated:

Cease and desist order given to Georgia man

A man from the US state of Georgia has been hit with an emergency cease and desist order by a Texas regulator over claims that he exploited the coronavirus pandemic to make money through forex.

Kenzley Ramos, who is from a suburb just outside of the Georgia city of Atlanta, is understood to have posted on the local services website Craigslist as part of the alleged scam.

Supposedly, he claimed that it was possible to “profit off the coronavirus with forex” – and he allegedly exploited the global pandemic further, writing that “the stock market is crumbling”.

He wrote on the Craigslist sub-sites targeted at major Texas cities including Dallas, Austin and Houston.

He is also allegedly making guarantees about the chances of high profits.

He supposedly said that there was “[n]o possible way [investors] can lose money” and that returns are 300% per week.

He is accused of asking traders to invest between $200 and $2,000, which he claims to be using to trade foreign exchange and also the notorious instrument known as binary options.

Specifically, however, he has been accused of failing to adhere to the Texas Securities Act because he failed to register appropriately as an agent or as a dealer.

In a statement posted online by the Texas State Securities Board, more details were shared about his alleged behaviour.

“People who invested with Ramos have lost money, according to the order. In December 2019, one investor sent $1,000 to a bank account owned by Kenzley Ramos, giving it a balance of $1,035”, the statement read.

“Two days later, Ramos withdrew $1,020 in cash from the account. According to the order, Ramos stopped communicating with the investor, never paid the promised profits on the account, and never returned the $1,000 principal deposit”, it added.

The Board also explained an interesting dynamic to the story – specifically that allegations about Ramos’ behaviour had surfaced in online forums, and that Ramos had sought to avoid the criticism.

“Although prior investors are complaining in several widely used online consumer protection forums, Ramos is dismissing these complaints”, it said.

“According to the order, he is falsely claiming the complaints were published by his competitors to attack his business. State securities regulators have repeatedly warned about the complexity and risks in currency trading and in binary options investing.”

“Besides not telling potential investors he hasn’t delivered profits to previous investors, Ramos is not disclosing the long list of inherent risks in forex and binary option trading”, it added.

It is understood that Ramos also uses a series of alternative names.

One such name is Anthony Green and the other is Anthony David “Tony” Mckinney.

“Currency traders must be registered with one or more federal regulatory agencies and in most cases licensed with the Texas State Securities Board to sell investments based on forex trading”, the Board concluded.