The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recently exposed a fraudulent project involving precious metals and digital assets. The CFTC filed a complaint against four individuals and their unincorporated entity, Fundsz, for operating this deceptive scheme.
Fundsz and its founders, Rene Larralde, Brian Early, Alisha Ann Kingrey, and Juan Pablo Valcarce, lured over 14,000 customers with promises of impressive returns and a unique trading algorithm. They claimed that their project could generate over 3% returns per week, using what they referred to as a “proprietary algorithm” and a so-called “secret sauce.”
According to the defendants, they had a track record of “on-time and accurate payments” spanning seven years. They even suggested that a mere $2,500 investment could multiply into $1 million within 48 months, without any additional contributions. To gain credibility, they asserted that a portion of the contributions to Fundsz was directed towards charitable initiatives, such as ocean cleaning and healthcare support.
Unfortunately, these deceptive tactics appeared to have worked, as Fundsz amassed a significant customer base. However, the CFTC revealed that the defendants never engaged in any actual trading activities. Instead, they fabricated fictional weekly returns, leading customers to believe they were profiting from their investments. As a result, all the gains experienced by clients were illusory.
The CFTC Takes Action
The CFTC remains committed to identifying and dismantling fraudulent schemes in the cryptocurrency and precious metals markets. Despite changes in the methodologies used by fraudsters, such as exploiting social media platforms, the agency emphasizes that the tried and true saying, “if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” still holds weight.
The Fundsz fraud serves as a stark reminder of the prevalence of scams in the financial world. Investors must exercise caution and critical thinking when presented with extraordinary claims and promises of substantial returns. As regulators like the CFTC continue to crack down on such fraudulent activities, it is crucial for individuals to educate themselves about potential risks and report suspicious schemes promptly. By doing so, we can protect ourselves and contribute to a more transparent and trustworthy financial ecosystem.