May 24, 2012 / 6:50 PM / 6 years ago

CFTC sues ex-Chicago broker, alleging Ponzi scheme

(Reuters) - The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has sued a former Chicago floor broker, claiming he ran a four-year Ponzi scheme and fraudulently solicited at least $7.8 million to trade commodity futures contracts.

In a civil lawsuit, the CFTC said Bradley Schiller ran the Ponzi scheme promised investors annual returns of 13 percent or higher. But he never delivered, the suit charged.

The lawsuit charged his scam fueled “a life of luxury” including a pricey high-rise condominium and expensive automobiles.

Schiller, 36, lost $1.6 million of the money he collected through his trading, and used the remaining $6.2 million for his personal benefit and to repay two earlier investors, the CFTC said. The scheme ran from at least January 2008 to at least February 2012, it said.

Schiller had been registered with the CFTC as a floor broker from 1996 to 2003, the agency said in a complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. The CFTC is seeking remedies, including full restitution and a civil fine.

It is not immediately clear whether Schiller has hired a lawyer. A call to a phone number listed in his name in Chicago was not immediately returned.

The case is CFTC v. Schiller, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, No. 12-04043.

Reporting By Jonathan Stempel in Toronto; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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