BULLETIN: Arthur Ferdig, Operator Of Collapsed Tradex Ponzi Scheme, Sentenced To Federal Prison For Tax Evasion; IRS Says Money Diverted To Offshore Accounts And Shell Companies

Arthur A. Ferdig

BULLETIN: Arthur Allen Ferdig, a California man who owned a collapsed Forex Ponzi scheme known as Tradex and claimed to have conversed with angels and the “Christ Energy,” has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for tax evasion.

Ferdig, 71, admitted he practiced “sophisticated concealment” and stashed Tradex cash in offshore accounts and various ventures, including a Las Vegas firm known as Industrial Metals and Mining, according to court documents.

And Ferdig also admitted he hid $529,000 in income for the 2002 tax year and did not file a tax return. A plea agreement requires him to pay taxes on the money, and Ferdig will be placed on probation for three years after his prison release.

“Individuals who intentionally use foreign bank accounts and shell companies to conceal income and assets offshore from the IRS risk criminal prosecution,” said Leslie P. DeMarco, IRS Criminal Investigation special agent in charge of the Los Angeles Field Office.

The prosecution of Ferdig destroyed a common myth in the  HYIP and autosurf worlds that “offshore” venues insulate the ventures and participants from prosecution. Tradex operated from the Caribbean island of Dominica, and Ferdig, a U.S. citizen, lived in Jamaica and the Bahamas.

Ferdig claimed to have met his first angel, Metatron, on Sept. 22, 2002, while Ferdig was peering over rocky sea cliffs in Negril, Jamaica. He later met Gabriel, Michael, Uriel, Ezrael, Ariel, Raphael, Muriel, Bethany “and other wonderful and loving angels and spirits of light,” according to his website.

People who followed Ferdig were called “Truth-Seekers,” according to records.

His non-Forex product lineup included “Angel Tears,” defined as “an all-natural, bio-trace mineral tincture developed to enhance human health and vitality.”

Although Tradex purported to have millions of dollars under management, missives to investors were signed “The TRADEX Management and Staff” or “The Tradex Management.”

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