News and Press Releases

MIAMI MAN CHARGED WITH SECURITIES AND COMMODITIES FRAUD IN $3 MILLION “PONZI” SCHEME TO DEFRAUD INVESTORS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2011

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announced the filing of a Criminal Information charging defendant Oscar Hernandez with conspiracy to commit securities and commodities fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. If convicted, Hernandez faces a maximum of five years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and a potential fine.

According to the Information, Hernandez engaged in a Ponzi scheme through two Miami companies he controlled, Midway Trading Company, LLC (Midway) and The Conquest Investment Group, Inc. (Conquest). To execute the scheme, from approximately 2005 through 2009, Hernandez solicited funds from investors, representing to them that he would pool investors’ funds to purchase commodity futures and stocks and then return the profits to the investors. In fact, however, Hernandez either lost a large portion of the investors’ money or spent the investors’ money for his personal benefit. To perpetuate the scheme, Hernandez allegedly provided promissory notes to many of the investors, falsely promising them monthly payments on their investments for a set time, with repayment of the entire principal at the end of that time. In this way, Hernandez allegedly solicited and received more than $3 million from investors.

A parallel civil enforcement action was also filed today against Hernandez, Midway, and Conquest, by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The Information filed in this case resulted from the Southern District of Florida’s ongoing Securities and Investment Fraud Initiative. The Securities and Investment Fraud Initiative is a coordinated, multi-agency initiative targeting criminals operating a broad grouping of stock and commodities frauds in the Southern District of Florida.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and the CFTC Enforcement Division. The matter is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerrob Duffy.

A Criminal Information is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Attachments:
Information (PDF)

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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