Reporting Anthony Silva
BOSTON (CBS) – If you invested with Boston Trading and Research (BTR), the government is coming down on the company’s two top officers.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says Craig Karlis of Hopkinton and Ahmet Devrim Akyil formerly of Hingham fraudulently raised approximately $40 million from approximately 750 investors.
SEC Regional Director David Berger tells WBZ News Radio’s Anthony Silva some of the investors lost their retirement money through the scheme that had been touted as 100% safe.
Investors were falsely promised that BTR had a system in place to limit trading losses.
BTR also falsely claimed to investors that “we do not profit unless you do” while in reality Karlis and Akyil were illegally diverting investor money for their own personal use as well as to fund the company’s operations and pay expenses for other companies with which they were associated.
According to the SEC’s complaint filed in federal court in Boston, for a minimum investment of $10,000, investors could deposit money with the BTR program.
BTR used a website, sales representatives and live presentations by Karlis and Akyil to solicit funds from investors around the world.
Investors provided Akyil with a limited power of attorney that granted him the right to direct the trading of their funds.
BTR collapsed in September 2008 and ultimately distributed the remaining funds to investors, which amounted to only 10 percent of their account balances.
U.S. Attorney’s Office of Massachusetts Thursday unsealed an indictment charging Akyil and Karlis with criminal violations based on the misconduct.