A lawsuit brought by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) against fraudulent Forex scheme Simply Gains and its owner Erik J. Hass will remain stayed at least until the end of 2021. This is indicated by recent filings of the Oregon District Court.
Judge Ann L. Aiken has issued an order extending the stay in this case until December 29, 2021. The order was issued in response to a request by the parties who await the outcome of a related criminal case.
The Court has previously stayed this case through September 1, 2021 to allow for the completion of the criminal case against Hass. Subsequently, the trial date in the criminal case against Hass has been reset to December 29, 2021. Accordingly, the civil case (the one brought by the CFTC) remains stayed to allow the parallel criminal proceedings to conclude.
The CFTC civil complaint charged that the defendants solicited at least $2.1 million from at least 21 individuals to fund their Forex commodity pool operation. Despite assurances that depositors could not lose more than 20% of the funds they deposited, the defendants lost over $1 million trading forex and misappropriated at least $415,000 more to spend on Hass’s mortgage, credit card debt, and a Caribbean cruise.
The complaint also alleges that the defendants fraudulently solicited prospective pool participants by misleading them about Hass’s experience, expertise, and investment track record while promising future profitability with limited downside. The complaint further alleges that to conceal their misappropriation and unprofitable forex trading, the defendants sent pool participants false account statements that purported to show profits.
In its continuing litigation, the CFTC seeks restitution to defrauded individuals, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil monetary penalties, permanent registration and trading bans, and a permanent injunction against future violations of the Commodity Exchange Act, as charged.