Israeli Citizen Sentenced To 3 Years In Prison For FOREX Fraud
Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that FADI EWIESS, a/k/a “Fadi Awise,” was sentenced today to three years in prison on wire fraud charges in connection with his participation in a scheme to defraud investors through the operation of a purported foreign exchange (“forex”) trading company called Golden Bridge FX. EWIESS pled guilty on April 11, 2017, and was sentenced by United States District Judge Deborah A. Batts.
Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “As he admitted at his plea, Fadi Ewiess lied to prospective investors about his company’s expertise in the foreign exchange markets, sending them forged ‘guarantees’ from New York banks to entice them to invest with him. Ewiess and others raised more than $5 million from victims around the globe, but instead of investing it, he spent much of that money on gambling, personal expenses, and transfers to family members. Today, Fadi Ewiess learned the price of his criminal conduct.”
According to the Complaint, Information, and statements made during court proceedings:
From in or about 2015 through in or about 2016, EWIESS operated a company called Golden Bridge FX (“Golden Bridge”). Golden Bridge purported to host an online foreign currency trading platform that allowed customers to place bets on the direction with which particular currencies would move relative to others. Investors using this platform either made investments themselves or authorized representatives from Golden Bridge to do so on their behalf. In order to induce investments, EWIESS and others at Golden Bridge promised certain investors unrealistically high rates of return for managed accounts, and, in other instances, falsely told investors that their trading was guaranteed against losses by U.S. banks. To substantiate these purported guarantees, EWIESS and others distributed forged documents that appeared to have been (but in actuality were not) issued by the relevant banks.
EWIESS and others raised more than $5 million during the course of the scheme, with much of this money coming from investors in Saudi Arabia and other countries. Over $2 million of that amount, moreover, was raised through the use of the fraudulent guarantees described above. Instead of honoring these guarantees (or, indeed, placing any securities transactions at all), EWIESS spent millions of his investors’ money on personal expenses like travel and hotels, on gambling trips, and on transfers to his family members. Other investor money was used to pay returns to investors so that they would invest or refer additional money to EWIESS and Golden Bridge, thereby allowing the scheme to continue.
* * *
In addition to the prison sentence, EWIESS, 39, of Israel, was ordered to forfeit a sum of $2,105,619.91 and the contents of five bank accounts associated with the scheme.
Mr. Kim praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in this investigation.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Allen is in charge of the prosecution.