WASHINGTON – The principal and co-owner of Integra Capital Management LLC, a North Carolina company, pleaded guilty today for his role in a commodities trading investment scheme that allegedly raised more than $3.2 million, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins of the Western District of North Carolina.
Nicholas Cox, 34, a North Carolina resident, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Keesler in Charlotte, N.C., to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, five counts of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Cox was charged in an indictment returned on May 17, 2011, by a federal grand jury in the Western District of North Carolina.
According to plea documents, between September 2006 and January 2009, Cox and his co-conspirator, Rodney Whitney, who was also a principal and co-owner of Integra, engaged in a scheme to defraud investors in commodity trading pools operated by Cox and Whitney through Integra. According to the indictment, Integra was established for the purpose of pooling investors’ funds in commodity pools, and investing in commodity futures and foreign currency exchange (forex) trading.
Whitney pleaded guilty on March 21, 2011, before U.S. Magistrate Judge David S. Cayer to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Nicole H. Sprinzen and Luke B. Marsh of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Benjamin Bain-Creed of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina. The case is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
This prosecution is part of efforts underway by President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes. For more information about the task force visit: www.stopfraud.gov.