According to Bloomberg’s Joshua Gallu, A Texas day trader illegally raised more than $6 million from the Houston-area Lebanese community by making false promises that his algorithmic trading program would generate 30 percent returns, U.S. regulators said.
Firas Hamdan, 49, hid $1.5 million in losses from his 33 investors, telling them the funds were tied up in the Greek debt crisis and the 2011 MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MFGLQ) bankruptcy, the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a lawsuit filed today at U.S. District Court in Houston. Hamdan, who raised the money from 2007 to 2012, is contesting the SEC’s claims.
“Hamdan’s affinity scam preyed upon people’s tendency to trust those who share common backgrounds and beliefs,” David Woodcock, director of the SEC’s regional office in Fort Worth, Texas. “Hamdan raised money by creating the aura of a successful day trader among friends and family in his community, and he continued to mislead them and hide the truth while trading losses mounted.”