Man Ordered To Pay More than $2.9 Million in Disgorgement and a Civil Monetary Penalty for Engaging in Precious Metals Transactions


Court Earlier Entered a Default Judgment Order against His Company, Oakmont Financial, Inc.

Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that Judge William P. Dimitrouleas of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida entered an Order of Final Judgment by Default (Order) against Defendant Joseph Charles DiCrisci of Henderson, Nevada, an owner and principal of Oakmont Financial Inc. (Oakmont), for engaging in in illegal, off-exchange precious metals transactions (see CFTC Complaint and Press Release 7317-16, February 3, 2016). The Court previously, on November 8, 2016, entered a Default Judgment Order against Oakmont (Oakmont Order).

The Court’s Order requires DiCrisci to pay $735,329 in disgorgement and a $2,205,987 civil monetary penalty. The Order also imposes permanent trading and registration bans against DiCrisci and prohibits him from engaging in illegal, off-exchange precious metals transactions, as charged. Similar prohibitions were entered against Oakmont in the Oakmont Order.

The Court’s Order stems from a CFTC Complaint filed on January 12, 2016 that charged DiCrisci and Oakmont with engaging in illegal, off-exchange precious metals transactions on a leveraged, margined or financed basis. The Complaint also charged Oakmont with acting as a Futures Commission Merchant (FCM), without being registered as such. The Complaint charged, and the Order finds, that DiCrisci was Oakmont’s controlling person who knowingly induced the underlying violation of the Commodity Exchange Act, or failed to act in good faith, and therefore was liable for Oakmont’s violations of the Act.

In the Order, the Court further finds that, from at least July 16, 2011 and continuing through at least July 27, 2012, Oakmont, by and through its employees, solicited retail customers by telephone to engage in financed precious metals transactions, which constitute illegal off-exchange retail commodity transactions and acted as an FCM without being so registered.

The Order also finds that precious metals were never delivered to any customers with respect to the leveraged metals transactions made on behalf of Oakmont’s customers. Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, leveraged, margined or financed transactions, such as those conducted by Oakmont, are illegal off-exchange transactions unless they result in actual delivery within 28 days.

The CFTC cautions that Orders requiring repayment of funds to victims may not result in the recovery of any money lost because the wrongdoers may not have sufficient funds or assets.  The CFTC will continue to fight vigorously for the protection of customers and to ensure the wrongdoers are held accountable.

CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this action are Kara Mucha, Erica Bodin, Kassra Goudarzi, James A. Garcia, Michael Solinsky, Charles Marvine, and Rick Glaser.

* * * * * *


Rockville, Md., Property Purchased with Nigerian Corruption Proceeds Forfeited Through Justice Department’s Kleptocracy Initiative

A forfeiture judgment was executed today against real property with an estimated value of more than $700,000 in Rockville, Md., that had been purchased with corruption proceeds traceable to Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieyeseigha, a former Governor of Bayelsa State, Nigeria, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Criminal Division and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton.

“Foreign officials who think they can use the United States as a stash-house are sorely mistaken,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Raman.  “Through the Kleptocracy Initiative, we stand with the victims of foreign official corruption as we seek to forfeit the proceeds of corrupt leaders’ illegal activities.”

“This investigation was initiated by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Asset Identification & Removal Group (AIRG) in Baltimore, in an effort to recover the criminal proceeds from Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieyeseigha’s assets, whose shell companies were convicted of money laundering offenses in Nigeria,” said ICE Director Morton.  “HSI’s AIRG will continue working with the Department of Justice to seek to recover illicit proceeds gained through foreign corruption and to protect the U.S. financial system from being utilized by criminals.”

Alamieyeseigha, aka DSP, was the elected governor of oil-producing Bayelsa State in Nigeria from 1999 until his impeachment in 2005.  As alleged in the U.S. forfeiture complaint, DSP’s official salary for this entire period was approximately $81,000, and his declared income from all sources during the period was approximately $248,000.  Nevertheless, while governor, DSP accumulated millions of dollars’ worth of property located around the world through corruption and other illegal activities.  The complaint alleges that DSP acquired the Rockville property during his first term as governor of Bayelsa State with funds obtained through corruption, abuse of office, money laundering and other violations of Nigerian and U.S. law.  Title to the property was transferred to Solomon & Peters, Ltd., a shell corporation controlled by DSP and on whose behalf the former governor entered a guilty plea to money laundering in Nigeria in 2007.

On May 24, 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Roger W. Titus of the District of Maryland granted a motion for a default judgment filed by the Criminal Division’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section and issued a final decree of forfeiture.  The order extinguishes all prior title and authorizes forfeiture to the United States of the private residence located in Rockville, Maryland, estimated to be worth more than $700,000 and allows the United States to liquidate the property in accordance with federal law.  In a related action in the District of Massachusetts, the Department of Justice and ICE Homeland Security Investigations successfully forfeited approximately $400,000 from an investment account traceable to DSP.

Both actions were brought under the Justice Department’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative announced by the Attorney General in 2010.  Through this initiative, the Department of Justice, along with federal law enforcement agencies, seeks to identify and forfeit the proceeds of foreign official corruption, and where possible and appropriate return those corruption proceeds for the benefit of the people of the nations harmed by the corruption.

The case was investigated by the HSI’s Asset Identification & Removal Group (AIRG) in Baltimore. The case was prosecuted by Assistant Deputy Chief Daniel H. Claman and Trial Attorney Tracy Mann of the Criminal Division’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Maryland.

Individuals with information about possible proceeds of foreign corruption in the United States, or funds laundered through institutions in the United States, should contact Homeland Security