A Wantagh man and his company were issued a federal court order Monday by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) that requires them to pay more than $1 million for defrauding investors.
The CFTC announced in a release that it obtained a federal court order against Madison Dean, Inc. of Wantagh and its principal, George Athanasatos, also of Wantagh, requiring them jointly to pay nearly $250,000 in restitution to defrauded customers. The Consent Order of Permanent Injunction, entered by Judge Joseph F. Bianco of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, also imposes a $1 million civil monetary penalty on Madison Dean and a penalty of $210,000 on Athanasatos. The order imposes permanent trading and registration bans against both defendants and prohibits them from violating the anti-fraud provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act, as charged.
The CFTC is a financial regulatory agency tasked with overseeing the U.S. derivatives markets.
The order issued Monday stems from a May 8, 2012 complaint charging that Madison Dean, Athanasatos, and another of the company’s principals, Laurence Dodge of Fresh Meadows fraudulently solicited approximately 19 people to invest roughly $415,000 in managed trading accounts to trade off-exchange foreign currency contracts on leverage or margined basis.
From the CFTC:
"The order finds that Madison Dean and Athanasatos — through an internet website, written solicitation materials, and oral solicitations — misrepresented and omitted material facts about the history of Madison Dean, the performance record of Madison Dean, the nature of the Madison Dean’s clients, and the background and qualifications of the Madison Dean’s employees to create a false impression that Madison Dean was a well-established and successful company. The Order further finds that after being in operation for a little over one year — during which time customers lost approximately $250,000 and Madison Dean collected approximately $112,000 in commissions and fees — Madison Dean shut down its operation with no notice to its customers and no way for customers to contact the company or any of its associates."
Madison Dean, Inc. is an investment firm based in Deer Park that specializes in foreign exchange accounts. Representatives from the company and Athanasatos' attorney could not be reached for comment.