Federal Court in Texas Orders Total Call Group, Inc. and its Principals to Pay over $4.8 Million in Fines for Making False Representations and Issuing False Account Statements in Forex Fraud
Washington, DC - The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that a federal court entered an order of default judgment and permanent injunction against Total Call Group, Inc. (aka TPFX, Inc., Power Play FX) of Frisco, Texas, and its principals, Craig B. Poe, also of Frisco, and Thomas Patrick Thurmond (aka Patrick Thurmond) of San Antonio, Texas.
The court’s order requires Poe and Thurmond, respectively, to pay a civil monetary penalty of $3.24 million and $1.62 million and holds Total Call Group jointly and severally liable for the payment of these amounts.
The order, entered on March 30, 2012, by Judge Richard A. Schell of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, stems from a CFTC enforcement action filed on September 29, 2010, that charged the defendants with issuing false customer account statements in connection with an off-exchange foreign currency (forex) fraud (see CFTC Press Release 5908-10).
The order finds that, beginning in early 2006 and continuing until October 2008, the defendants solicited approximately $808,000 from at least four customers to trade forex. In soliciting the funds, Thurmond made false representations to one or more of Total Call Group’s customers, including that Poe had been trading forex and living off the income for over four years, and that he and Poe had personally provided over $1 million to Total Call Group, according to the order.
At the end of August 2008, the defendants sustained trading losses and incurred trading fees amounting to approximately 90 percent of the then current balance of the trading accounts, according to the order. However, the defendants did not report these substantial losses to customers, but instead continued to promote the profitability of trading and solicited additional funds, the order finds.
In September through December 2008, the order finds that the defendants traded and lost almost all of the remaining funds in the trading accounts. Despite these losses, Poe sent false account statements to customers, including several false statements after the trading accounts were fully liquidated in November 2008, that collectively reflected a positive balance of over $750,000 in Total Call Group’s forex trading accounts.
CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this action are Patrick M. Pericak, Daniel Jordan, Eugenia Vroustouris, Jessica Harris, Michael Loconte, Rick Glaser and Richard B. Wagner.