SEC Brings Affinity Fraud Charges against Firas Hamdan in Investment Scheme Targeting Lebanese Community

SEC v. Firas A. Hamdan, Case No. 4:13-CV-215 (S.D. Tex.).  On January 29, 2013, the SEC announced fraud charges against Firas Hamdan for targeting members of the Lebanese and Druze communities with an investment scheme involving a supposed high-frequency trading program.  The SEC alleges that Hamdan raised more than $6 million.  Hamdan told investors that he would generate 30 percent returns on their investments by pooling investor funds with his own money.  Hamdan provided investors with fake brokerage account statements to substantiate his claimed profits.  Hamdan told investors he would conduct high-frequency trading using a proprietary algorithm and assured investors that their money was safe.  Rather than generate the promised returns, however, he lost $1.5 million.  When Hamdan could not give investors the promised profits, he lied to them and told them their money was tied up in the Greek debt crisis and the MF Global bankruptcy.  The SEC charged Hamdan with violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act, Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act of 1934 and Exchange Act Rule 10b-5.  The SEC is seeking a temporary restraining order, preliminary and permanent injunctions, disgorgement with prejudgment interest, and civil monetary penalties.

This entry was posted in Securities and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.