SEC charges CRE president over $25m Ponzi scheme

16 January 2009

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed charges against the Atlanta-based investment firm CRE Capital and its president, James G Ossie, accusing them of running a Ponzi fraud that robbed investors of at least $25 million.

According to the SEC's complaint, Mr Ossie and his firm solicited the money from investors last year, offering them guaranteed returns of ten per cent - and in some cases 20 per cent - every 30 days through a currency trading program.

However, the regulator contests that in reality, CRE's trading did not return profits and returns were paid out using the principal and money obtained from new investors.

The SEC also alleges that CRE falsely claimed that it and its trading program had been externally audited and cleared of being a Ponzi scheme.

Furthermore, Mr Ossie and CRE face fraud charges of an offer to sell $100 million in CRE shares due to being in early 2009.

The SEC has secured an emergency court order freezing the assets of Mr Ossie and the company. It has also appointed a receiver for CRE.

Last week, the regulator charged investment manager Joseph S Forte of running a $50m Ponzi fraud.

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