CFTC closes commodity fraud case

Commodity trader ordered to pay up to $291 million in fines

WASHINGTON DC – The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission has ordered commodity trader Paul Eustace to pay up to $291 million in fines and restitution to customers of his Philadelphia Alternative Asset Management (PaamCo) commodity pool.

In a decision announced today, Eustace was ordered to pay $279 million in restitution and a $12 million fine. However, the restitution will be offset by funds already recovered from PaamCo and Eustace, which total $166 million so far. Eustace was banned from trading for life last year.According to the CFTC, Eustace made losses of around $200 million in four PaamCo funds between 2001 and 2005 trading commodity futures and options.

"Eustace concealed those losses by issuing, or causing to be issued, false account statements reflecting highly and consistently profitable trading results. Eustace also misappropriated assets of the Option Capital and LP funds and received incentive and management fees through his fraudulent operation of the pools," the commission said in a statement.

In December 2007, MF Global was fined and its head of offshore trading, Thomas Gilmartin, blocked from registering with the commission for failing to notice Eustace's trading activity. MF and Gilmartin were ordered to pay a total of $77 million in restitution and fines.

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