Former Marylander and his firm ordered to pay more than $600,000 to settle fraud case

A federal court in Maryland ordered a former Bowie man and his company to pay more than $600,000 in restitution and penalty to settle a foreign currency fraud complaint, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said Monday.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland also issued permanent registration and trading bans against Sidney J. Charles Jr. and his company, The Borrowing Station LLC in Bowie, the CFTC said.

According to the regulator, Charles and his firm solicited nearly $370,000 from 18 people or entities between October 2009 and at least July 2011 for a pooled investment vehicle. Investors were told they could earn as much as 10 percent per month and that their investments were guaranteed against trading losses, the CFTC said.

Instead, the CFTC said, only part of the money was invested, with the rest used to pay "returns" to other investors, to finance Charles' personal expenses and to fund the firm's operations.

Charles, who has since moved to Louisiana, could not be reached for comment.

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