Two Individuals, Including A Former Pharmaceutical Executive, Plead Guilty To Participating In Insider Trading Scheme Surrounding Alexion Pharmaceuticals’ Acquisition Of Portola Pharmaceuticals
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that EDDY ALEXANDRE was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John P. Cronan to nine years in prison for engaging in commodities fraud. ALEXANDRE was the leader of a purported cryptocurrency and foreign exchange (“forex”) trading platform called EminiFX, and he defrauded over 25,000 investors in the EminiFX trading platform of more than $248 million.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Eddy Alexandre defrauded tens of thousands of ordinary investors of almost a quarter-billion dollars in his cryptocurrency investment scam. Alexandre’s fraud was brazen and included fabricating weekly investment returns of at least 5% out of thin air and falsely claiming to use artificial intelligence trading technology that did not even exist. Most egregiously, Alexandre recruited many of his investors by exploiting his position of trust within his church and the Haitian community, even going so far as to enlist members of the church to help recruit EminiFX investors. As today’s sentence demonstrates, cryptocurrency executives who lie and cheat their customers will be held to account for their crimes.”
According to the allegations in the Indictment and other filings and statements made in court:
From in or about September 2021, up to and including in or about May 2022, ALEXANDRE operated EminiFX, Inc. (“EminiFX”), a purported investment platform that ALEXANDRE founded, and for which he solicited more than $248 million in investments from over 25,000 individual investors. ALEXANDRE marketed EminiFX as an investment platform through which investors would earn passive income through automated investments in cryptocurrency and forex trading. ALEXANDRE offered his investors “guaranteed” high investment returns using new technology that he claimed was secret. Specifically, ALEXANDRE falsely represented to investors that they would double their money within five months of investing by earning at least 5% weekly returns on their investment using a “Robo-Advisor Assisted account” to conduct trading. ALEXANDRE referred to this technology as his “trade secret” and refused to tell investors what the technology was. Each week, EminiFX’s website falsely represented to investors that they had earned at least 5% on their investment, which they could withdraw or re-invest.
In truth and in fact, and as ALEXANDRE well knew, EminiFX did not earn 5% weekly returns for its investors. ALEXANDRE did not even invest a substantial portion of the investor funds entrusted to him, and ALEXANDRE sustained millions of dollars in losses on the limited portion of funds that he did invest, which he did not disclose to his investors. Instead of using investors’ funds as he had promised, ALEXANDRE also misdirected at least approximately $14,700,000 to his personal bank account. For example, ALEXANDRE used $155,000 in investor funds to purchase a BMW car for himself and spent an additional $13,000 of investor funds on car payments, including to Mercedes Benz.
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In addition to his prison term, ALEXANDRE, 51, of Valley Stream, New York, was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay forfeiture in the amount of $248,829,276.73 and restitution in the amount of $213,639,133.53.
Mr. Williams praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and also thanked the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which brought a separate civil action.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicholas Folly and Jared Lenow are in charge of the prosecution.