The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a New York City-based trader with defrauding investors out of millions of dollars by misrepresenting her investment track record, the profitability of her investments, and her use of investor funds.
The SEC alleges that Haena Park touted her supposedly profitable futures and foreign currency (forex) trading strategy when soliciting friends, family, former Harvard classmates, and individuals with connections to them. She proceeded to pool investor funds and incur heavy trading losses month after month in the futures and forex markets, yet repeatedly told investors that their investments were profitable and sent them monthly account statements showing fictitious profits. At times, Park used new investor funds to make Ponzi-like payments to earlier investors. She raised at least $14 million from more than 30 investors since 2012, and has suffered more than $16 million in trading losses during that time period.
“We allege that Park brazenly obtained investor money under false pretenses and compounded her egregious conduct by using phony monthly statements to convince some investors to significantly increase their investments based on fictitious positive returns,” said Andrew M. Calamari, Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office.
In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York today brought criminal charges against Park.
The SEC’s complaint charges Park with violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5. The SEC is seeking a permanent injunction as well as the return of alleged ill-gotten gains plus interest and penalties.
The SEC’s continuing investigation is being conducted by Wendy Tepperman, Rhonda Jung, and Teresa Rodriguez in the New York office. The litigation will be led by Jack Kaufman. The case is being supervised by Sanjay Wadhwa. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.