The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently charged two men behind a phony day-trading firm with pocketing more than $1.4 million in deposits from hundreds of defrauded investors worldwide.
The agency alleged that Naris Chamroonrat of Bangkok, Thailand, recruited Adam L. Plumer of Las Vegas to help him lure investors to day trade through an unregistered brokerage firm called Nonko Trading with promises of generous leverage, low trading commissions and low minimum deposit requirements.
According to the report, rather than using a live securities trading platform, Nonko Trading provided certain investors with training accounts that merely simulated the placement and execution of trade orders. So when these investors sent funds to Nonko Trading and proceeded to place trade orders, they were never actually routed to the markets.
It is alleged that the investor money was instead used to fund Chamroonrat’s personal expenses, pay Plumer and other associates, and make Ponzi-like payments to investors who asked to close their accounts.
The scheme deliberately targeted investors who were inexperienced and more likely to place unprofitable trades, making them less likely to ask to withdraw funds from their accounts.
Joseph G. Sansone, co-chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Market Abuse Unit, commented:
As alleged in our complaint, Chamroonrat defrauded investors in more than 30 countries by using a trading simulator to deceive them into believing they were involved in legitimate securities trading rather than victims of a $1.4 million fraud.
In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced criminal charges against Chamroonrat.