U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 20264 / August 31, 2007
SEC v. James B. Roberts, FOMAC International, Inc., and Consultores Las Tres Americas S.A., Civil Action No. 4.07.CV.786 (JLH) (U.S.D.C./E.D. Ark. August 31, 2007)
SEC Files Emergency Enforcement Action to Halt Ponzi Scheme; Defendants Agree to Entry of Preliminary Injunction and Appointment of Receiver
On August 31, 2007, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") filed an emergency action against James Blackman Roberts ("Roberts"), FOMAC International, Inc. ("FOMAC"), and Consultores Las Tres Americas S.A. ("Consultores LTA") to halt an ongoing Ponzi scheme and freeze assets for the benefit of defrauded investors. The complaint filed by the SEC alleges that, since 2002, the defendants have raised at least $50 million in principal from approximately 450 investors located primarily in the U.S. and Costa Rica. The complaint further alleges that as early as 2005, the defendants experienced significant losses while trading investor funds in the Forex markets, misappropriated at least $3 million, and then used new investor money to pay returns and principal to existing investors. As a result, the complaint alleges, the defendants misrepresented to investors that these Ponzi payments were actually returns from their Forex trading.
The complaint charges Roberts, FOMAC, and Consultores LTA with violating Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The complaint seeks preliminary and permanent injunctions, asset freezes, the appointment of a receiver, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, and civil penalties against Roberts, FOMAC, and Consultores LTA. The defendants, without admitting or denying the allegations in the Commission's complaint, have agreed to the entry of a preliminary injunction, and asset freeze, and the appointment of a receiver to preserve, marshal, and recover funds and assets for the benefit of defrauded investors, which was entered on August 31 by the Honorable Leon Holmes, U.S District Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
The Commission acknowledges the U.S Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their assistance in this matter.
The Commission has provided information warning investors about High Yield and other offering frauds. See: http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/investorfraud.htm