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Florida Man Charged with Defrauding Hawaii Residents March 16, 2010

Posted by jefhenninger in News.

A federal indictment in Hawaii charging Patrick H. Rakotonanahary, age 34, a resident of Florida, with 21 counts of wire fraud was unsealed late yesterday upon Rakotonanahary’s arrest in Florida. The indictment was previously returned by a federal grand jury on March 10, 2010, but sealed until his arrest.

According to the indictment, Rakotonanahary, as president and chief executive officer of Cyber Market Group, LLC, marketed an investment program which purported to pay investors six to 10 percent interest per week based on the trading of foreign currencies (Forex). The indictment alleges that between Dec. 20, 2007 and May 2009, Cyber received approximately $10,255,300 in investments from more than 100 individuals, which included $7,994,300 from 64 individuals or entities in Hawaii.

According to the indictment, instead of using investor money to engage in Forex trading, Rakotonanahary primarily paid investment returns to earlier investors with investment funds from later investors as part of a “Ponzi scheme,” using only about $1,864,000 for Forex trading, which generated losses of $814,806. Instead, Rakotonanahary used approximately $8,375,703 to pay investment returns and another $1 million personally.

The criminal case resulted from a joint investigative effort by the FBI, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA). Both the CFTC and DCCA filed related actions against Rakotonanahary. The CFTC filed a civil complaint in federal court, while the DCCA issued a preliminary order to cease and desist.

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