United States v. Walsh

Walsh and Martin, principals of a futures and foreign currency trading company that acted as a “futures commission merchant” and as a “forex dealer member,” used customer funds for personal expenses, then concealed the company’s insolvency and their criminal conduct by misleading customers about the company’s ability to meet its obligations. Existing customers got account statements that falsely stated their available margin funds, and they solicited new customers by making false statements. They also used a Ponzi-like scheme for redemptions. Shortly before it was shut down, the company had $17,654,486 in unpaid customer liabilities and only $677,932 in assets. Walsh and Martin pleaded guilty to wire fraud, tax evasion, and to making false statements in a report to the Commodities Futures and Trading Commission, a Commodities Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 6d(a)) violation. The district court sentenced them to terms of imprisonment of 150 and 204 months, respectively, and ordered each to pay $16,976,554 in restitution. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, rejecting challenges to a finding as to the amount of loss and restitution and to application of a sentencing enhancement based upon a finding that each was an officer or director of a futures commission merchant. View "United States v. Walsh" on Justia Law