Svejda never registered as a commodity pool operator.
Still, in phone calls and emails, he told potential participants that pooled funds would be traded in agricultural commodity futures contracts on an exchange like the Chicago Mercantile Exchange or elsewhere.
Instead, Svejda allegedly transferred the funds into personal bank accounts and business accounts for other entities he controlled and into a personal futures trading account in his name.
Chernigoff said Svejda used $784,650 in misappropriated funds to trade futures in his personal trading account, and to pay personal expenses and Centurion’s corporate expenses, such as payments to a website developer, and a social media and online reputation management company.
He said the conduct was done “willfully, or with reckless disregard for the truth.”
Chernigoff said the Commodity Futures Trading Commission brought the action to stop Svejda and Centurion’s “unlawful acts,” to compel their compliance with the Commodity Exchange Act and to enjoin them from engaging in any commodity-related activities.
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It also is seeking civil monetary penalties and full restitution to every person who sustained losses and asking a judge to ban Svejda or Centurion from trading.
Svejda hasn’t yet responded to the complaint filed Aug. 16.