It’s prison for Forex ‘guru’ from Turlock
April 28, 2008
• Joel Ward sentenced to nine years
• Had swindled $11 Million
Joel Ward, 49, of Turlock has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison for masterminding a scheme that bilked more than $11 million from nearly 100 investors.
Mr. Ward, a frequent commentator and seminar speaker on forex (foreign currency exchange) trading, ran an elaborate forex trading scam through an investment fund he controlled called the Joel Nathan ForexFund, prosecutors say.
Between early 2003 and November 2006, Mr. Ward took in over $15 million from investors. Of that, about 85 percent was diverted to other purposes, including promoting his business interests, salary, travel and other expenses, and purchasing a foreign exchange trading school in Sacramento called Learn:Forex, according to prosecutors.
Mr. Ward also used about $3.7 million to make “Ponzi” payments back to investors who sought to withdraw funds. According to trading records, he only actually traded about $2 million, and lost virtually all of it in the foreign exchange market, the government says.
Mr. Ward concealed his diversion of funds by sending false account statements to investors purporting to show trading profits and also defrauded investors in a second scheme relating to a purported real estate investment project in Mississippi, according to court records.
“Joel Nathan Ward earned every minute of the nine-year sentence the court imposed. He brazenly defrauded scores of victims out of over $11 million,” says U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott.