United States Attorney
Northern District of Illinois
October 27, 2010
FOREX Trader in Florida Pleads Guilty to Fraud that Resulted in $2.3 Million Loss for Investors Over Two Years
CHICAGO — A Florida man who conducted spot foreign exchange trading pleaded guilty to a federal fraud charge, admitting that he concealed trading losses and inflated investment returns that caused 47 investors to lose approximately $2.3 million, federal law enforcement officials announced today. Mark Adrian was employed as a consultant at Avidus Trading Inc., in Boca Raton, Fla., which conducted foreign exchange (FOREX) trading at its discretion for investors. Adrian was responsible for communicating with Individual A, who operated an unnamed entity in Chicago through which Individual A solicited other investors for Avidus, received their funds and reported back to them based on information provided by Adrian.
Adrian, 52, of Delray Beach, Fla., pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of wire fraud in U.S. District Court. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or a maximum fine totaling twice his gross gain or twice the loss to any victim, whichever is greater. A written plea agreement contemplates an advisory federal sentencing guideline range of 51 to 63 months in prison, and U.S. District Judge Blanche Manning set sentencing for Feb. 24, 2011.
According to his plea agreement, between July 2006 and October 2008, Avidus’ trading was not profitable and resulted in the $2.3 million loss for investors. Adrian concealed the losses in order for Avidus to retain the investors’ business. He prepared and sent false monthly spreadsheets concealing the losses to Individual A, which Adrian knew Individual A would report to other investors. Adrian also hid the losses from other employees at Avidus by creating fake brokerage statements that showed an inflated balance for client funds that were on deposit with the broker.
The guilty plea was announced by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the FBI. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission assisted in the investigation. The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sunil Harjani.
The prosecution was conducted under the auspices of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which 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 on the task force, visit: www.StopFraud.gov.