Trader Indicted for $1.7 Million Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 11, 2009|
PENSACOLA, FL—Thomas F. Kirwin, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced that David A. Owen, 60, of Destin, Florida, was arraigned in federal district court today on a ten-count indictment charging him with three counts of commodities futures trading fraud, three counts of wire fraud, and four counts of failure to file federal income tax returns, in violation of Title 7, United States Code, Sections 6m, 6n, 6o(1) and13(a), Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343, and Title 26, United States Code, Section 7203.
The indictment alleges that Owen, operating a commodity pool known as “Oasis Futures” since January 2005, fraudulently solicited and accepted at least $2.2 million from the public to invest in commodity futures. In urging his victims to invest, Owens falsely stated that he was a licensed certified public account with expertise and a successful track record in futures trading. He backed these claims up with fraudulent account statements that falsely reflected profits on trading when, in fact, no profits had been made. Although Owen returned approximately $562,000 to investors, his conduct resulted in the loss of $1.7 million overall.
The indictment also alleges that from 2005 through 2008, Owen willfully failed to file federal income tax returns even though he earned gross incomes of approximately $125,573 in 2005, $88,757 in 2006, $98,076 in 2007, and $112,673 in 2008.
Owen faces up to five years’ imprisonment on each count of commodity futures fraud, thirty years’ imprisonment on each count of wire fraud, and one year imprisonment for each count of failure to file federal income tax returns.
United States Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Timothy conducted Owen’s initial appearance at 11:00 a.m. today at the federal courthouse in Pensacola, Florida.
Mr. Kirwin commended the work of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the State of Florida Bureau of Financial Investigations whose joint investigation led to the indictment in this case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Preisser.
An indictment is merely a formal charge by the grand jury. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.