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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission


Litigation Release No. 21052 / May 20, 2009

Securities and Exchange Commission v. FTC Capital Markets, Inc., FTC Emerging Markets, Inc. also d/b/a FTC Group, Guillermo David Clamens and Lina Lopez a/k/a Nazly Cucunuba Lopez, 09 Civ. 4755(PGG) (S.D.N.Y.) (May 20, 2009)

SEC Charges Registered Broker-Dealer, Its Unregistered Affiliate and Two Individuals in Fraudulent Scheme to Pay Off Ficticious Bonds With Tens Of Millions In Unauthorized Trading

On May 19, 2009, the Commission filed a civil injunctive action charging Guillermo David Clamens, FTC Capital Markets, Inc., a registered broker-dealer he controls, ("FTC"), and Lina Lopez, an FTC employee, with a fraudulent scheme to engage in tens of millions of dollars of unauthorized securities trading through the accounts of two FTC customers. Clamens and Lopez defrauded FTC's customers in part to conceal their prior fraudulent sale of $50 million in non-existent notes to a Venezuelan bank through another Clamens-controlled entity, Emerging Markets. When the fictitious notes held by the Venezuelan bank purportedly came due in August 2008, Clamens misappropriated $50 million from FTC's customers to fund the redemption. In addition, the Complaint alleges that Emerging Markets is an unregistered broker-dealer.

The complaint names the following defendants:

  • FTC Capital Markets, Inc. ("FTC"), a registered broker-dealer headquartered in midtown Manhattan with an office in Miami, Florida. Clamens is FTC's chairman and, until recently, chief executive officer, and controls the management and policies of FTC. Throughout the relevant period, the FTC engaged in a general securities business, transacting in debt and equity securities on behalf of mostly South American institutional customers.
  • FTC Emerging Markets, also d/b/a FTC Group (collectively "Emerging Markets"), a Panamanian-based affiliate of FTC with offices in New York, Miami, London, Caracas, Lima and Mexico. According to FTC Group's website, is a conglomerate of financial services companies including Emerging Markets and FTC, among others, that provides investment banking services to foreign banks, pension funds, insurance companies, asset managers and financial advisers
  • Clamens, age 45, a registered representative and the chairman of FTC and a principal of all the entities in the FTC Group. Defendant Clamens is a citizen of Venezuela and a permanent resident of the United States who maintains a residence in New York, New York.
  • Lina Lopez (a/k/a Nazly Cucunuba Lopez), age 34, an employee of FTC and/or various FTC affiliates who works in FTC's Miami office. Defendant Lopez is a citizen of Venezuela and a permanent resident of the United States who maintains a residence in Miami, Florida.

The Complaint alleges that, in furtherance of their Ponzi-like scheme, defendant Clamens, assisted by defendant Lopez, knowingly caused FTC to make unauthorized purchases of securities for the two customer's FTC accounts, knowingly prepared and sent the customers false account statements that omitted the unauthorized securities trades and falsely listed holdings exclusively in short-term, low-risk, liquid investments of the type that the customers authorized FTC to make on its behalf but which were not made. In addition, Clamens and Lopez caused the Venezuelan bank to receive statements for its account falsely stating that it held the $50 million in (fictitious) notes. In addition, defendant Emerging Markets effected, or purported to effect, securities transactions for its own account and on behalf of numerous foreign investors, without having properly registered as a broker-dealer with the Commission or other appropriate authority. Emerging Markets thus has illegally acted as an unregistered broker-dealer.

As a result of this conduct, the Complaint alleges that defendants FTC, Emerging Markets, Clamens and Lopez violated Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act"), Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5 thereunder; defendant FTC violated Section 15(c) of the Exchange Act; defendant Emerging Markets violated Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act; and defendants Clamens and Lopez aided and abetted FTC's violations of Exchange Act Section 15(c) and Emerging Markets' violations of Exchange Act Section 15(a). In its Complaint, the Commission seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement and prejudgment interest and civil penalties against all defendants.

The Commission acknowledges the assistance of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the Financial Services Authority of the United Kingdom in this matter.

SEC Complaint



Modified: 05/21/2009