For almost five years, Darren Robinson of Miami Florida and his Wyoming corporation, QYU Holdings managed to scam $7.1 million from 30 investors through what they claim was an office in Dallas, Texas.
While investors were from a variety of states, most of the victims resided in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. But the fraud neighborhood knows no boundaries.
Robinson Claimed to Operate a Foreign Exchange (Forex) Commodity Pool Through QYUHI
He represented he traded commodity interests, including forex, on a “leveraged, margined, or financial basis.” Commissioner Johnson’s Statement Robinson misappropriated all of the investors’ money, never making one investment.
Robinson used the cash for various items including:
- $1.2 million Ponzi payments
- Travelling on luxury cruises, airplanes, and purchasing vehicles
- Real estate purchases, credit card payments and other living expenses.
Once again, the defendant and defendants’ sales members failed to register with the appropriate governmental agency, CFTC. Both Commodity Pool Operators (CPO’s) and Commodity Associated Persons (CAP’s) are required to register with the federal government. Some states have similar agencies and requirements.
Defendants Kept The Scheme Going Through Ponzi Payments, and Falsifying Records
“Defendants never traded pool participant funds as promised; . . . the ‘account statements’ provided to participants showing purported profits were false, created by Robinson, and not reflective of actually trading . . .” Complaint
Robinson’s Investment Scheme Targeted Financially Unsophisticated Investors
Many of the targets “were friends and family members of Robinson or QYUHI’s unregistered APs [sales team members] and had little to no experience trading forex or commodity interests.” Complaint
Given the rise in commodities fraud, Kristin Johnson, the Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, issued a statement. “Time and again fraudsters have been able to attract credulous investors with dreams of big returns and little risk, guaranteed by the charisma of the perpetrators and nothing more. Couching the investment scheme in forex adds a sheen of exoticism and technical expertise that seems to engender a heightened level of trust among the victims.” Commissioner Johnson’s Statement
How Can Investors Avoid This Particular Trap?
- Investigate the players before investing. Check the link from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s site to discover if your contacts, the company and the company’s manager are registered. The CFTC recommends the following link: NFA Basic Site
- Skip the forex trade. CFTC looked at trades from second quarter 2021 to first quarter 2022. “Two out of three forex customers lose money.” CFTC Customer Advisory
- Visit the office if possible.
- Check as many references as possible.
- Act quickly. If you suspect an issue, track down the problem immediately. Keep fishing until you are certain you know the truth.
Forex Fraud is On The Rise
Whether it’s another Ponzi Scheme or foreign currency investment scam, the investment waters are rough. We hope all your real estate, commodities, foreign exchange, cryptocurrency and oil and gas investments are safe and profitable. But if you find yourself searching for an experienced oil and gas litigation lawyer or a commercial litigation lawyer, we are here to help.