The operator of Black Diamond Forex, Michael Salerno has been charged with different counts related to fraud. According to the First Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams, Salerno is facing twenty-three counts of wire fraud and six counts of mail fraud.
If Salerno is found guilty, he is facing a maximum sentence of 580 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $7.25 million, and full restitution.
Victims were paying “advance fees” of over $1,000
In the Friday charges, the prosecution stated Salerno has been at the center of various fraud schemes. The fraud was allegedly committed between September 2016 and November 2018. During this period, Salerno operated businesses like Black Diamond Forex, L.P., BDF Trading, L.P., Advanta Capital Markets, Inc., and Advanta FX. All the ventures were dealing in Forex trading.
According to the charges, the accused promised victims jobs by asking them to pay advance fees of more than $1,000. He allegedly collected over $300,000 in advance fees. The victims were assured that once hired an amount of $10 million would be pooled for them to trade in the Forex market. However, the promise emerged to be false as no trader benefitted.
Salerno’s past experience with the law
A statement from the prosecutors stated Salerno duped his victims into believing that he runs a real estate empire which helped him raise the $10 million for forex trading.
Notably, Salerno has been bankrupt twice, with 2015 being recent. He has been in legal circles several times and he was once sent to prison for 21 months. In the 2005 case, Salerno was guilty of federal tax charges. Despite the prison sentence, Salerno didn’t disclose the information to his victims.
His illegal dealings emerged in 2018 when the Commodity Futures Trading Commission obtained an injunction against his businesses. With queries into the forex trading scheme, Salerno opened the AccuOne Financial company last year. The new venture was to help clients avoid unwanted automobile leases. However, clients did not receive any service despite paying thousands of dollars.