Civil and criminal action taken in $2M forex fraud vs Erik Hass and Simply Gains
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has announced that it has filed a civil enforcement action against Erik J. Hass and his company Simply Gains Inc., both of Junction City, Oregon, in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon, charging them with fraud, misappropriation, and failing to register with the CFTC as required.
And in a related criminal action, on June 9, 2020, the United States Attorney for the District of Oregon indicted Hass on five counts of wire fraud, two counts of mail fraud, and one count of money laundering.
The CFTC civil complaint charges that the defendants solicited at least $2.1 million from at least 21 individuals to fund their foreign currency (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.