Quincy Man Charged in $3.4 Million Forex Investment Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office July 14, 2014|
BOSTON—A Quincy man was charged today with engaging in a scheme to defraud persons seeking to invest in the foreign currency exchange (“forex”) market.
Marcellus Lopes Lee, 46, was charged in an indictment unsealed today with 16 counts of wire fraud and six counts of monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity.
According to the Indictment, Lee was the owner and operator of Taurus Global Markets, Ltd. (TGM), an entity which he held out as being a company that executed transactions in the forex market on behalf of investors. The indictment alleges that Lee induced prospective investors to wire funds to TGM’s Belize bank account for the purpose of trading in the highly-risky forex market when, in fact, Lee never intended to use the funds for that purpose, but instead converted investors’ funds to Lee ’s own personal and other uses. It is alleged that Lee held out TGM as having staff, management and its computer network “distributed all across the world,” when in fact TGM had no employees and Lee operated it primarily from his residence in Massachusetts. According to the indictment, Lee caused investors to be sent documents reflecting that their money was invested in the forex market, and that all or most of the investors’ funds were lost in forex trading when, in fact, no actual forex transactions had occurred on behalf of investors, and Lee instead converted the money to his own use. The indictment alleges that Lee defrauded at least 65 individuals of more than $3.4 million through this scheme.
The charging statute provides a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 on the charge of wire fraud, and on the charge of illegal monetary transactions, a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Mark J. Balthazard of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.