According to a press release, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has taken enforcement action against a New York resident named William Koo Ichioka for stealing over $21,000,000 from more than 100 commodity pool participants.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Northern District of California has also filed a parallel criminal complaint against Ichioka on counts including wire fraud and securities and commodities. Securities and Exchange Commission has also filed “parallel actions.”

In a press release, CFTC commissioner Kristin N. Johnston stated that “Ichioka committed to using customers’ assets for retail foreign currency (forex) transactions through a commodity pool operating under the “Ichioka Ventures” name.

Ichioka agreed to be charged and the CFTC sought to recover the full amount for those defrauded. The CFTC also sought a civil monetary fine, permanent trading bans and registration restrictions, as well as permanent injunctions, against Ichioka.

A commodity Pool is a trading vehicle that pools money from multiple investors.

According to the CFTC Ichioka ran a fraud scheme between 2018 and 2021, where he stole money from over a hundred people to trade digital assets commodities, including Bitcoin (BTC) or ether (ETH), promising a return of 10% within 30 days. Ichioka claimed that participants were able to withdraw or reinvest funds easily.

Ichioka instead used the $21million to pay back participants, but also his own personal expenses and use, such as luxury cars and rent payments.

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Parikshit Miishra is the editor.