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Nine Year Sentence for Forex Fraud. Too harsh or not enough?

Nine Year Sentence for Forex Fraud. Too harsh or not enough?

Joel Nathan Ward used to be a hotshot forex guru with millions of dollars of managed account money under his control. Now, he’s looking at 9 years of hard time in federal prison along with an order to repay $11 million to investors. Is he a sleazy scumbag who should be grateful for such a short sentence, or a good guy who is being denied a chance to make amends for one terrible mistake?

Before I get started, let me interject a personal story. I HATE scammers. The thought of some thief running off with another person’s money or possessions fills me with rage. This probably dates back to my house being robbed just before my 9th birthday. It was bad enough that they ransacked all of my parents’ stuff, but they dug through my closet and managed to find the box with my coin collection, tucked away in the same place as my Monopoly, Battleship, and chess sets. The thieves that robbed my house were pros and got away with their crimes. I decided it wouldn’t be so easy the next time. I guess that’s why I now have a safe that weighs over 900 pounds, a large dog, and an alarm system.

Normally, I would join the chorus calling for this guy to be hung from the battlements and left to rot, but then I dug a little deeper and the case became more interesting. I still think this guy was wrong, but think it’s worth exploring how and why he went from being a good buy to being a bad guy.

According to Joel, he learned to trade at a California school called Learn:Forex. He claims that his trading became consistently profitable, and he then opened the Joel Nathan Forex Fund. Not too long after, he purchased Learn:Forex. He was well respected in the world forex community and both write his own articles and he was frequently cited by others as a source of good information on forex trading.

According to Joel, the school was losing money when he bought it, and since he’d successfully “borrowed” money from his own fund before and managed to pay it back out of profits, it didn’t seem to be too big of a thing for him to “borrow” more to keep the school afloat while trying to make it more profitable. He supposedly was about to do an IPO on the school and launch a new, larger fund that would have let him easily repay the missing 10+ million dollars when the whole scheme fell apart. He claims all the money was lost and that he only lived in a modest home so hadn’t spent it on a lavish lifestyle. At one point, while overcome with guilt, he described himself as a “financial serial killer”, and expressed deep regrets that he’d become a scammer, but even now remains determined to find a way to repay the lost money.

The Federal prosecutors tell a different story. They say his fund was a Ponzi scheme. The prosecutors say that the missing millions went to pay for Joel’s salary, travel, extensive marketing, as well as other expenses. One of the prosecution’s expert witnesses was a finance professor employed by the CFTC. That witness audited the books and says that Joel was only using $2 million of the $15 million in his fund for trading, and that his trading profits from trading that $2 million came to $1000. (Personal note – Wow, and I though I had a bad time trading!). Joel’s response to this is to say that the professor lacked experience with forex to be able to interpret the account statements. I find this a little hard to believe – I’m not a professor of finance (I don’t even do a very good job balancing my checkbook), but when I first began demo trading forex, it was quite easy to see what my total profits and losses came to. I also had no trouble interpreting any of the Daily Confirmation Statements sent to me by my broker once I went live.

According to the prosecution, “As a trader, he was a failure. The only success Ward had was in convincing others that he was successful.” and “Joel Nathan Ward earned every minute of the nine-year sentence the court imposed.”

Joel did plead guilty to five counts of wire fraud, two counts of mail fraud and two counts of money laundering last year and asked the court to sentence him to house arrest so that he could keep trading to repay the money that his investors lost. The court instead imposed a 9 year stretch in Club Fed along with a requirement to repay $11 million stolen from investors. Joel went so far as to say “I will keep trading. The court can’t stop me from trading.” I’m not a legal expert, but I think it would be well within the power of a Federal judge to impose an injunction against Joel to keep him from trading even after he completes his time in the federal lockup. Prosecutors say that he is very unlikely to ever be able to pay off the debt, especially through trading.

This is where I am torn. Part of me says that he got off way too light and should be forced to sell his internal organs to help repay the money he stole from investors. Another part of me wonders if he really did just make a terribly foolish mistake and should be allowed to trade (under strict supervision) so that his skills might be used to help recover the money that has been taken. Punishment is important, but should punishment be so harsh that it reduces the chances of repayment? Or, will he just find a way to go around any restrictions and scam again?

The prosecutors say his whole company was a scam from day 1. He says it only went wrong when he had to borrow money to keep his other company afloat? Assuming he was a legitimate trader at one time, should this be taken into account when considering a sentence? Does it really matter if he scammed from the beginning as opposed to making a mistake and falling off the straight and narrow?

If you want to read more about Joel and his problems, here are some good articles I found online:

Forex ‘Guru’ Gets 9-Year Prison Term for Bilking Investors
Foreign-Exchange ‘Guru’ Gets Nine-Year Term – The Collar (usnews.com)
The Modesto Bee | A Q&A with Joel Nathan Ward
The Modesto Bee | Forex trader Ward traded only a fraction of $15M, prosecutors say
Foreign-Currency Trader Faces Criminal Charges for $7 Million Fraud

Author Profile

Pharaoh

Pharaoh

Pharaoh is one of the FPA's oldest members (he claims to be about 4000 years old, but we think he's exaggerating a little). He says he created the world's first trading pair (Cow/Goat) while ruling ancient Egypt. Although there are no archeological or historical records to support this claim, we can't find anything to disprove it. Although he's not as active at the FPA as he used to be, he still holds the highest post count of all FPA members.

We don't understand how he does it, but Pharaoh has an uncanny ability to spot scams faster than anyone else we've seen. He claims to have known a number of companies were HYIP scams just by their domain names and that each time an examination of the website proved him right. He's also famous inside Forex Peace Army for warning about Ponzi schemes, even ones run by large and well established companies. He's been in a number of threads trying to warn people away from active Ponzi schemes. In spite of the efforts of shills and those gullible enough to believe in free money to discredit his words, he keeps up the warnings. In each case, the company ended up either disappearing with all client money or being shut down by the authorities.

In addition to investigating scams, Pharaoh has written a number of articles on a wide rage of trading topics, including forex broker selection, risk management, and how to select a good account manager. He's also covered other items of interest to traders, such as protecting wealth and purchasing precious metals.

Pharaoh claims to be a business consultant, but says he makes most of his income by running a globe-spanning hamster smuggling operation. If we are to believe him, he's currently working on a network of hamster tunnels under southern Europe.

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Comments

fxisfx
11 years ago,
Registered user
payback

He should serve some time and payback what he took.
toomanyquestions
11 years ago,
Registered user
He must have had some talent

I didn't read the add'l articles you posted, but it seems as if the prosecutor's version is maybe a little harsh... I mean, yeah, the guy ran off the rails... but: > According to the prosecution, “As a trader, he was a failure. The only success Ward had was in convincing others that he was successful.”

Wouldn't he have had to have some modicum of success to amass any funds? or, was he sooo good at snowing people he was able to convince others they would get rich if they let him trade for them? It is hard to say... but wouldn't he have had to show some sort of trading record or again, did he manufacture his results and use this as evidence...

There is an outside chance that he was just a naive business person who was really good at trading but had no clue as to what is considered good practice... it is quiet possible a fellow would look at a pile of money he mangages and says, no big deal, i'll fix this company and replenish my fund in short order...

Ever since those guys on North Carolina were falsely accused for raping that girl, now totally exonerated and the prosecutor has been stripped of his power... well, just makes you want to be thorough before judgment is passed...

Again, maybe he would have honored his fuduciarary responsiblity to his investors - but in jail, we'll never know...

cheers,

Jake
bygolly
11 years ago,
Registered user
Too Harsh

I met Joel and the Learn:Forex group at a Forex Expo in 2005 or 2006. He seemed to be sincere and genuinely trying to help others succeed in trading the Forex. I did not invest in his product because it was too expensive for me at that time. However, I thought well of him and his company. I am saddened to hear of his misfortune. Personally, I think the sentence is too harsh. I don't see this man as an intentional scammer.
hectopascal
11 years ago,
Registered user
Hi there,

I did not read all the links either, but I think it is well
deserved. I hate all these scammers out there who
can not have the courtesy to leave other people's money
alone, and try to make an earnest living.

Ofcourse having lost money in 2007 by two scams...one.. 1world capital,
and another one who took in $67M in 2007 alone, divided over several
continents does not help.This is including from people who gave them their retirement money, who now have to keep on workng after 65.

You can say that some scammers are worse than others, but in the end
it comes down to the same thing, and that is that they steal other people's money to make themselves rich IAW thieves.

So let's make this guy an example, and hopefully many to follow!!!!
Swede
11 years ago,
Registered user
re: Forex Fraud

I have been in the machinery business for many years.....I also developed the ability to trade Forex, and of course many of my dealers have been very inerested in this form of profit making. What I find interesting is the number of people in the industry who ask me to trade their funds, willing to turn over 5-10,000 dollars, without any security other than our business relationships.

Tempting but no thanks. This is how a "fund" gets started, but what happens when drawdowns accumulate and your "friends" would like to know how things are going.....is that when the fudging starts? Is that the turning point or catalyst for solicitation for more and bigger "investments"? I can see how some could get caught in a web of decept but when millions are involved something else is in play.

To anyone I would say this.."if the man is such a hot trader, he will not want nor need other peoples money."

Scammers deserve what the courts dish out. FRAUD IS FRAUD IS FRAUD!

I know how I felt after accounting "frauds" (sorry I mean mistakes) put forth to the public by Nortel, Enron,Worldcom, and others causing huge losses to investors like myself. Executives who shut their eyes, or participate in deceptive practices need to think twice...IMHO
tucanred
11 years ago,
Registered user
Joel Nathan Ward

I'm going to give my own background on this event. I trained with Joel at Learn Forex in Sacramento in 2002/2003. At that time, he and the owner of Learn Forex with other investors had just been bilked out of over a hundred thousand dollars from a FX broker in Seattle, Washington. It became what I thought as an impetous to establish a transperant managed FX investment fund that a group of us discussed while at Learn Forex. Joel had set up a professional trading room at his home and seemed sincerely dedicated to having integrity when he asked me to join him in his FX trading endeavors when he formed his LLC. The requirement was to have attended Learn Forex, and at the same time having been vetted by the instructors has being trustworthy - based on Christian ethics. When Joel asked me, I had been trading for FXCM and recently left (2003) because of the management trading and drawning down my assigned account; something that went against our agreement that stipulated that I was the sole trader on the account. I had been a student of Learn Forex since 2001 (and my FXCM manager was a graduate of Learn Forex - so go figure). There was always a discussion in the Learn Forex classes about finding FX brokers that had integrity/transperancy - and I was certainly one of those vetting Learn Forex and didn't find any corruption. There were plenty of war stories. At that time I compared most FX brokers to Oanda - a FX platform that my son introduced to me as he was studying economics at Oregon State University and was a staunch believer in having control over my investments instead of putting tens of thousands into a brokerage - even those recommended by Learn Forex. (Remember this was five years ago - almost the dark ages of online retail FX trading compared to today.) Consequently, I started my own due diligence and in the process discovered that there is not much integrity/transperancy in the retail FX business - and felt I was in the wilderness with this belief. Over the years, I've stayed to myself; trading and working on a fairly reliable system that I use today to trade a FX managed account. Last fall I read about Joel's arrest. I can't say one way or the other about his outcome, Learn Forex or what happened to those who were involved in the novice phase of my FX trading career. I feel that there are too many "insider" market makers that corrupt the retail FX platforms that goes undedicted by inexperienced FX retail traders and/or is buried deep in the platform's network. I also find FX traders blaming brokerage platforms for their own mistakes. As well, over the past five years, you can learn how to trade the Forex Spot Market without paying a dime for classes. I always tell people not to pay thousands for classes. There is such a plethoria of online webinars/resources that it makes my own head spin when I learn that someone put down thousands to learn what they could have culled online for free. In this regard, people who put money into a Forex managed investment account have to do their own due diligence. The bottom line is caveat emptor; FX is not a sound investment strategy for the common masses. It's mass marketed to capture wanna be "traders" or those misguided souls thinking that FX is a sound investment strategy. Joel's FX investment management case is certainly something that got out of hand - but I had fortunately distanced myself with suspecting him of malfeance. Neither am I in defense of Joel nor condeming; as I know most people exaggerate the truth when it comes to telling people about their own trading profitability... simply to disguise or induce trusting people to invest in their trading fund simply to cover loses from previous clients, e.g. Joel. Perhaps Joel got caught in the same self-induced deceptive "merry-go-round" lie - that permeates throughout the capitalist milieu as the standard norm... and it finally caught up with him. I think it's just another example of how greedy people become when it comes to money i.e. Wall Street hedge fund managers selling subprime mortgages (sanctioned by the government by lifting the anti-predatory lending law of 1895 in 2003) to international banks ; plunging the global economy into a tailspin. Let me see, Joel goes to jail - financial institution CEO's and pirate hedge fund managers get multimillion dollar profits off of people's hard earn debt driven impoverishment. It seems to me the Feds ought to be less discriminating with enforcing the law. ;)
MidasFX
11 years ago,
Registered user
Most people probably don't realise just how easy it is to raise funds for trading. There are many people out there who are very willing to quickly part with their hard earned cash for the [I]chance[I]to pick up high returns. Very few go through the process of checking the credentials and actual results of the trader they entrust their money with. Perhaps they were recommended to them by a friend and are happy to take their word for it.

In a large part the investors must take responsabilty for their actions... they can't mortgage their Grandmothers home and then blame the trader for ruining her life because all her money was lost on a high risk endevour.

But the story may go deeper than this. It is quite possible that the gentleman concerned initially was a very good trader and did indeed have the results to show he was highly competent.

What happens though is that someone who is ethical and brilliant at trading say $1M can easily fall to pieces if they were to suddenly trade $30M (get too big too fast). Its like people who win tattslotto. Winning $1M does not make them a millionaire. If they have never earnt or handled a million dollars before then statistics show they will almost certainly lose it all and revert back to the income level they do have experience with.

When you are awash with cash it is very easy for your judgement to become clouded and to genuienly think that you'll just temporarily take some money from here and use it to prop up another business over here... all the time believing that everything will work out ok because the trading will turn around any day now. People (courts) who have never been in this position often have no idea how this could possibly happen and automatically believe that the actions must have been malicious. This of course doesn't make the traders decisions right or ethical and punishment certainly needs to be dealt out to remind the person never to make that mistake again... but I've seen rapists and armed bank robbers get far less than 9 years. The courts need to be very sure they have a scam artist and not just someone who messed up.
RWBarber4
11 years ago,
Registered user
There is no difference

It makes NO difference if at one time Ward was an above-board, competent trader/manager. A scam is a scam is a scam and fraud is fraud is fraud. Bad decisions are just that bad, and when they violate fiduciary responsibility it's a crime. Let this serve as a warning. My compliments to the prosecutors who got this decision and sentence.
dances with Forex
11 years ago,
Registered user
"According to Joel, the school was losing money when he bought it, and since he’d successfully “borrowed” money from his own fund before..."

That's all I need to know. There is no point in reading further. He stole investors' money the FIRST time he "borrowed from the fund"!!

Now somebody wants to let him "honor his fiduciary responsibility to his investors"? He has already violated that TWICE. You can't honor your fiduciary responsibilities by paying people back after you violate your fiduciary responsibilities. That's called "restitution"; not "honoring fiduciary responsibilities." Who do you propose should give Joel money to trade in order to pay people back? The State?!!

He's going to have to write a book or get movie royalties if he wants to pay his investors back. Now ask yourself: If he made millions on a book and movie deal, do you think he'd pay back his investors with it? I submit that he would just want to pay them back by trading ...and he couldn't generate profits to pay them back by trading before. No. My assessment: He's an addict.
MidasFX
11 years ago,
Registered user
Hmmmm.... Let him that is without sin cast the first stone
Jason XXX
11 years ago,
Registered user
This reminds me of WorldCom. They had one bad quarter, but they thought they could make it up, and didn't want their stock to suffer, so they lied on their quarterly report thinking they could just make it up next quarter. The next quarter was even worse than the first, only now if they told the truth it would have been even worse; so they thought they could lie and make it all up the next quarter; you can see where this is going. The point is that it never serves your interests to lie because reality will catch up to you eventually. Maybe he had good intentions, and thought he could get away with it.

As far as paying it back. If he has the money, he should have to pay it back with what he has. But letting him go back to trading forex to pay it back, nooooo way. That is like if I stole from your house, intending to give it back, and as my punishment I will have to come over every weekend and cut your grass. That doesn't make sense. Laws are set up to punish criminals, not pay pack victims. If we started letting people who fraud serve their punishment by just paying back their victims, there would be no deterrent to fraud. Joel Nathan Ward committed fraud, and so must be punished as such. As for the investors who lost their money, that is part of the risk of investing.
pcindia
11 years ago,
Registered user
sad!

I mean after all he was a trader and also served the forex Industry by other means like educating people, seminars and workshops, so we should have soft corner for him. Though, the court can not be wrong in its discretions and judgements.
Rajshah
11 years ago,
Registered user
Action says it all

His action speaks louder then his words. He helped himself. Now he can really help himself ...stay away from other peoples loot.
harun121
11 years ago,
Registered user
Harun, Indonesia

Whatever way/method people do to obtain money illegally or in a fraud manner is SCAM. Enticing other people so that they invest their money to get more profit, but not paying their profit and not returning their principal is also SCAM. From prehistory era till the end of the world, the performances like above paragraph are SCAM.:mad:
Every SCAM is crime. And every crime should be in jail, at least the actor of
the crime will be isolated by society unless he/she repents and forswears and has to return the financial loss of other people. Don't do as they do.
capitalmarketstrader
11 years ago,
Registered user
Nothing new I am afraid , trouble is he got caught , there are hundreds of scammers out there . No help for the scammed I am afraid . Plenty of Scammers post false results and are not licensed/authorised to look after other peoples funds , but they do and until they are tracked down and prosecuted will carry on regardless . Greed has a lot to do with it , if you are not used to trading these sort of amounts your trading will suffer . It is important to remember that a traders results on a 5000 mini account will be vastly different from a 5000000 account , in the amateur Market as losses are bigger and can affect the psyche of an Amateur trader . It is not as simple as I made 1000 dollars on a mini account and my losses were 500 dollars , therefore I can just multiply everything and will show large profits . Before you give your funds to anyone , take a look at their supposed profits , find out the amount they are trading , make sure they are authorised by the local Financial Authority , check out the Office they claim to be in and check out their Trader/Traders . It is not enough for the Company to be Authorised all Traders need to have passed the Exams as well . Quite often a Company will show 3 years results or more when infact that was Demo Trading , or they are quoting those results on a mini account , maybe their office is a virtual office or the company is registered in a wifes name , or they have been trading 1 year and have borrowed someone elses account , maybe they are in somewhere like South America but give a U.S address , in which case they have probably run away from a Tax problem or whatever . Before you give them any funds , ask them to give you written permission to approach their Broker to find out how long they have been Trading Live Accounts andthe Amount they are Trading....You are NOT asking for their trades or amount of Clients , you are doing Due Diligence , thats all , if they wont give you this information or the name of their traders to check they are licensed it is an odds on bet they are liars and will scam you .
high123
11 years ago,
Registered user
It is not even enough

HURRAY......................LET US CELEBRATE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks Be to God for revealing the bad egg among the good ones.I HATE SCAMMERS either by direct or indirect,fraud is fraud.
As for him,that is not harsh enough.Well as per house arrest in order trade with ''strict supervision'' so as to raise money to settle for the debt.My own contribution is if investigations reveal that there is no other means by which debt can be settled,he can be granted just that opportunity to trade pending the period he's going to repay and as soon as he is through with that,he should be sanctioned never to trade for the rest of life.MORE SCAMMERS ARE STILL TO BE CAUGHT IN THE NAME OF JESUS.
high123
11 years ago,
Registered user
It is not even enough

HURRAY......................LET US CELEBRATE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks Be to God for revealing the bad egg among the good ones.I HATE SCAMMERS either by direct or indirect exercise,fraud is fraud.
As for him,that is not harsh enough.Well as per house arrest in order trade with ''strict supervision'' so as to raise money to settle for the debt.My own contribution is if investigations reveal that there is no other means by which debt can be settled,he can be granted just that opportunity to trade pending the period he's going to repay and as soon as he is through with that,he should be sanctioned never to trade for the rest of life.MORE SCAMMERS ARE STILL TO BE CAUGHT IN THE NAME OF JESUS.
GillesDine
11 years ago,
Registered user
the message is simple

Sorry but scammers are scammers, if we can put them all in jail, the world will be better for sure.
leesystems
11 years ago,
Registered user
Whom Do You Trust ?

The same set of Government Agencies that allows some brokers to get away with stealing from traders has prosecuted this individual. There's [financial] statistics, and they can be bent and twisted to tell any story you want them to tell. "Borrowing against ones' own account" along with a lot of other things a solely owned entity can legally do; however, when you take an entity public, these and many more things are not legal and you are now subject to much more intrusive scrutiny. THIS is what nailed this person. I do not know, nor pretend to know enough to pass judgment on this case. So I ask, would you rather let this person trade on his own account in an attempt to repay, or would you trust those who prosecuted him? IF he was able to repay, he is vindicated. IF he can't trade himself out of the hole, then, yes, it appears as if the Feds were correct. BUT, however they twist 'the laws', they should not prevent him from trading on his own account even while in Club Fed. If the Feds do prevent him from trading on his own account, then the Feds are admitting they have a hollow case and are just stepping on the little guy for the benefit of the large corporations which run the Feds.... Don't believe for a nanosecond that the Feds protect the little guy, as evidenced in the home loan bail out that only helped the large corporate transgressors and still leaves the individual citizens under the large corporate predatory loan transgressors to foreclose through the predatory lending practices.....
eam159
11 years ago,
Registered user
He "borrowed" from the fund? Sounds illegal to me. Students place their trust in "gurus". Its a leap of faith to believe he can trade to pay back all those millions.
rk302
11 years ago,
Registered user
Bottom line..."Fiduciary Responsibility"

I'm actually a bit surprised that about 30% (more or less) of the posts here actually refer to what this guy did as bad judgment, a mistake, etc. The bottom line here is that he had a fiduciary responsibility to use the funds (entrusted to him by individuals) for investing purposes for THEIR benefit and nothing more...with his personal profits coming from the percentage commissions paid to him based on his performance. The moment he comingled funds he became a crook and, although I know nothing about this person, one that allowed his ego to overstep what he knew in his heart to be wrong. His "explanation" of why he did what he did just proves that he still doesn't think that he did anything wrong....that if left alone, he would have paid everyone back and his school would be afloat. Sorry pal...I don't buy it. And neither should anyone else. You're a criminal.

Sure, government policy and the court and penal system are screwed up (with rapists getting less than 9 years and financial institutions being bailed out while people have their homes forclosed upon). But it serves no one by not completely throwing the book at him (I think he should have gotten an even stiffer sentence, to send a message to others with fiduciary responsibilities.). Look, we all know that he is going to get out early based upon good behavior (another screwed up part of our system.) It should be a part of his parole/release that whatever endeavours he persues should be garnished to pay back those he ripped off. (Good luck waiting to see if that will happen.)
briansnj
11 years ago,
Registered user
Fraud and Money Laundering - CLEARLY

I have no delusions about this case and no one else should either.

This was fraud - period.

I am a state licensed real estate agent in New Jersey. I have been in practice a long time. There are very strict rules about how we must operate and clearly defined rules as to how money may and may not be handled.

If I am even 1 day late with the deposit or return of a client's earnest deposit money, I could be suspended, lose my license and/or fined HEAVILY for that.
What amount of deposit sums are we talking about? Well, it might be as little as $5,000 and as much as $300,000. It all depends but I NEVER have direct access to a client's money or any bank accounts. Yet, I can still be punished seriously for any mistakes made. Yes, just mistakes, not blatant theft, fraud or misuse of MILLIONS of dollars.

Now Joel Nathan Ward was clearly responsible for directly and purposely mishandling his client's money with INTENT. He knew exactly why he needed the money, exactly how he was going to use the money and where to get the money from. A 'mistake' would have been accidentally depositing money into the wrong account, etc. There were multiple steps involved here folks. He did not just accidentally goof up.

To those of you who 'knew' him or attended his school, etc. I say shame on you for feeling bad for him or doubting he could do something like this with INTENT. I lived next to a guy for 13 years, knew every member of his family, etc. and never thought he would murder his wife - BUT HE DID. So please, do not assume you know someone that well when you had such limited exposure to him. You cannot read anyone's mind.

We are talking about MILLIONS of dollars here. Sums people may have spent a lifetime accumulating.

He should have no mercy or quarter given.
MidasFX
11 years ago,
Registered user
For me the real question is.... if someone, with all good intention, mistakenly or otherwise with intent, makes an error in judgement on where funds are allocated... should that person get 9 years jail? Does the punishment fit the crime?

I know most of the people on this thread crying for blood have committed far worse crimes than the one Joel Nathan Ward is accused of... but would be the first to cry for clemency if they were sent to jail for it. How? Well I know that all of you who own a motor vehicle have mistakenly or otherwise risked killing and seriously injuring people by driving over the speed limit from time to time. The consequences of that are far worse than losing some money.... just ask anyone who has lost a loved one to someone who thought it was ok to occasionally go over the speed limit.

Perhaps the penalty for speeding should be more than 9 years jail. That will stop the bast**ds who sometimes speed and risk killing our families and putting their lives in extreme danger. An example should be made of these dispicable individuals so the reprehensable crime of speeding never happens again. I don't care if they thought it was ok to go just a little over... a CRIME is a CRIME is a CRIME.

Now obviously I don't think the above should be the case just as I would question the 9 year sentence given to Joel Nathan Ward for what is possibly a lessor crime in terms of potential consequences... although a crime none the less. Perhaps some are being a little too critical or may be even hypocritical.
aleksey
11 years ago,
Registered user
Well deserved sentence

I am rather pleased that Mr. Ward was held accountable for his scammings.

Frankly, I am unpleasantly surprised that the author of this thread leaves room for reasonable doubt on account of Mr. Ward's "true" intentions. It is so obvious the guy is a scammer, it's not even funny.

People refer to him as seeming to be honest and truly eager to help. That's why you people get suckered by the likes of Mr. Ward. You really think that a crook should be sullen, with a 3-days' worth of stubble on his chin, scowling and growling at you, and exude an altogether disagreeable impression when you set your eyes on the guy? Do you think anyone in his/her right mind would give a penny to such a character? Do you not know that a truly sleek scammer will be impeccably dressed, clean-shaven, amicable, smiling at all times like a Gwynplaine, and above all, be more gifted at persuasion than the devil himself?

Now, tell me why this initially "successful" trader made $1k on a trading account of $2 million? Tell me why this bastard needed to buy this "forex school", whatever the hell that's supposed to be, to begin with? Just so that he could get his $39.95 for a crash course in forex trading from gullible suckers who want someone else to do all the work for them and get rich? This "guru" sitting on $10 mil of cash, even trading at 1:10 margin could wield the buying power of $100 million! Even if you maintain that his motives were genuine, what exactly was the idea behind a "successful" forex school? How was that to prosper into anything profitable? How was it to be more profitable than good ol' forex trading that he purportedly excelled in?

No, it is clear the guy is a scammer. He's cooperating with authorities, and plays all coy and repentant, purportedly wishing to repay his customers' losses. Great gimmicks, I must say. If nothing else, beg for pity. Try to garner sympathy by making big tearful sad puppy eyes. He gets none from me.

9 years in prison and confiscation of all assets necessary to reimburse the customers and taxpayers for court proceedings is a just and fair punishment. When he gets out, let him go manage funds at some bank. If he is so legendary at trading forex, then his reputation will precede him. Or work like most of us have to do, save up some money, and turn it into a small fortune in no time, considering that he's such a f*cking guru at forex trading. :(

Regards,
bety
11 years ago,
Registered user
joel's sentence

Hey, I have read joel ward's story. I feel his sentence is justified.
However i'd rather he was allowed to trade under strict supervision in order to repay his clients all the cash he swindled them!
bety
kca$h
11 years ago,
Registered user
re:

well im really gonna be blunt here..he is definately a scammer, i think ppl should really be careful especially when it involves other ppl's funds...if u are a good enough trader, pls stick to your cash and grow its to the so called majestic money tree..........
notbob
11 years ago,
Registered user
We reap

The old saying goes: you reap what you sow. Ask the people who lost their money if 9 yrs is long enough.
Pharaoh
11 years ago,
Registered user
Compared to what could have happened, I guess he got off light. I just read about a guy in Egypt who defrauded people out of about $52 million dollars. His sentence is 1000 years (not a typo - 1 thousand years).

The best part of the article was that a court official said he did not know when this criminal would be eligible for parole.
:D
martin01
10 years ago,
Registered user
Forex is such a small name but big actions. People going on the small name and having clemence losses. It is such a huge market that before entering this market one should have a proper knowledge of it. Learn more about it search on internet there you will find many websites telling about forex and educate you about forex. Search for brokers have demo accounts use demo accounts for trading before going for real trading.

As people who had invested money in this market without knowledge and vanished off their hard earned money in few years. So first educate your self and gather more knowledge about it. Make your own trading strategies, use indicators like pivot point, moving averages etc. If you have signed with some broker and willing to open a trading account first go for a mini account which requires a minimum deposit every broker has their own minimum deposit in mini accounts. So first try for it and then only go for standard account. You will find many brokers in the market having the facility of mini accounts.
Codezilla
10 years ago,
Registered user
Foolish mistake or not, we're talking about other people's money here. Two words come to my head when I think about working with other people's money...Zero Defect. Zero Defect doesn't refer to the performance of the fund, but to only using that money for Forex trading, nothing else. I'm sure he got a pretty hefty profit from the fees he was charging the investors, and that should've been the only money used for his other ventures. He can play golf at Club Fed for 9 years.
cliffv
8 years ago,
Registered user
My back ground also with learn forex and joel nathan

> I'm going to give my own background on this event. I trained with Joel at Learn Forex in Sacramento in 2002/2003. At that time, he and the owner of Learn Forex with other investors had just been bil..

I have also trained through learnforex.com in Sacramento 2002. I first attended 3-day class when company was started bye Steven Clarke(president and main trainer). Jim Clarke (brother) also affiliated .It seemed very legite when they were there. I also attended Joel Nathans seminar and felt he was also genuine. But I always was sceptical of forex as a whole when I got dooped to invest in a ponsi scheme which also had semenars and such. If you ever heard of John Wheeler or Gary Wood you know what happened. If not here is the Press release from the CFTC:


https://www.cftc.gov/sites/default/files/opa/enf04/opa4955-04.htm


Its funny how these crooks follow eachother and possibly work together. I also know that Gary Wood had his dirty finger in with Learnforex around the year 2000- 2001. Dont know exact figures , but he was definately involved some how.

So basically I was investing my money with our trust worthy financial planner Gary Wood, which knew John Wheeler, and then Gary found learnforex, and then Joel Nathan comes along and steels more money.
This is how I was introduced to forex !

John wheeler : ponzied 30 million- got 5 years
Gary Wood : few years later convicted 5 years
Joel nathan : ponzied 11 million 9 years

And the funny thing is I still have a passion to trade forex and still believe its got some possibilities for the benefit of the doubt !

Go to hell !!! John Wheeler,Gary Wood, Joel Nathan Greedy bastards !!! with no soul !!!
Cathy Corpuz
8 years ago,
Registered user
And even these crooks(John,Gary, Joel) are now in jail, some crooked bastard are still existing and waiting for their turn with out us knowing, so lets be carefull with our transactions.
Navarro
8 years ago,
Registered user
Is Jail right for being stupid

I have gained a lot of knowledge by trading Demo's & Cash accounts.
While loosing real money, I did not think or dare to ask others to make up the Loss, just reduced my outlay until I found the knack of making/loosing very little money.
Today (at present) I am up 1.25GBP
Should I now claim to be a successful trader and ask for tens of thousands of pounds - like he apparently did.
What wonderful statements did he make to persuade investors to put their money with him - this must have happened, the Judges probably saw in the records that this was the case - AND THAT'S WHY HE WAS GIVEN THE PRISON TERM.
Sorry - I cannot feel sympathy for him or others like him (still possibly trading) Risk is one thing, but Stupidity to go on trading/loosing after experiencing the early losses he referred to makes for Villainous Stupidity.:unhappy:
Ellys
8 years ago,
Registered user
9 years is not enough!
Jessica Wyeth
8 years ago,
Registered user
Yes, 9 years is not enough. But, use that years of experience to become more advanced in the trading business. Be smart, be competitive and be excellent in anything you do so that you would be one of the best trader in the market today.

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geoffrey
8 years ago,
Registered user
Re: 9 Years Sentence - Too Harsh Or Not?

The question is, the $12 million people's fund the guru squandered was it too harsh or not? He used only $2 million in trading which eventually turns down to $1000. If he is such a guru, he would likely turn the $12 million to $6000 if he had or will put it into trading.

First, for not puting the people's investment into the appropriate channel means that even in the first place, there was something fishy is his deals.

Only hope the victims had not been sentenced more than 9 years of their funds.
WaveRider
7 years ago,
Registered user
A pawn was knocked off the board

Can I ask a really stupid question? Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan ruined the whole world and they got off scott free. $11 mil guy gets 9 years, but the guys who helped wreck Greece's entire system for billions in profits, and had a very big hand in wrecking USA's financial system for many, many, many, many billions, blatantly ,FRAUDULENTLY (that's a felony too), unapologetically and all they get is a finger wag from a few congressmen? REALY?! I'm liking the 1000 year sentence. Can we do extraordinary rendition to Egypt? This is like worrying about Princess Diana dying young but not worrying about the 40,000 kids who starve to death every day in Africa. I'd love to focus on the real problem.



I'll tell you, I've had some hard times but I have never been in fear of going to jail. I just don't break the law, except speeding. EVERY inmate tells you he's innocent and got a bum rap. They all have a story. And it's sad. My own brother did a lot of prison time and he had a sad story to tell about injustice and difficult circumstances. He was a drug dealer, and armed thief with a long story about how life dealt him a raw deal and he didn't belong in jail. I'm sorry that life is tough. Don't commit fraud and you won't go to jail. A lot of people claimed to make more than they did so they could buy homes they couldn't afford. I'm sorry they got evicted but in their case it was willful fraud that got them into the home in the first place. If they had told the truth, they wouldn't have qualified and wouldn't have lost the home. Sometimes lying catches up to you. And you get 9 years to think about what you did. On the bright side, if it's California he'll be out within a few months.