Nov. 21, 2019 By Kristen Torres
A Forest Hills resident and former Wall Street stockbroker has been sentenced to 3 to 6 years in prison for defrauding investors out of nearly $500,000.
Jason Ari Amada, 42, was sentenced in New York County Supreme Court today after pleading guilty to felony charges in September after bilking investors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to New York Attorney General Letitia James.
“If those who work on Main Street have to play by the rules, so must those on Wall Street,” said Attorney General James in a statement. “Jason Amada played fast and loose, losing hundreds of thousands of dollars of his investors’ money.”
Amada, who hadn’t been a licensed broker since 2012, created fake account statements that were released to his investors revealing false profit for his venture, according to the statement.
Amada was arrested on Aug. 29, 2018 for fraudulently soliciting a client to invest €250,000, and then losing 99 percent of her funds in the first 45 days of his currency trading, according to the statement.
After his arrest in August, more victims came forward to report that they too had invested and lost money with Amada under similar circumstances. He was ultimately charged with fraud against eight separate victims.
According to the attorney general, Amada claimed he was an experienced foreign currency trader, and operated multiple investment management firms — both of which were false. His “firms” were shell corporations with no employees or genuine operations.
Along with his high-risk trading strategies, Amada diverted investors’ money to pay his own personal expenses, according to the statement. He put the money into his own personal bank accounts via his corporate ones, and in some cases simply cashed the victim’s investment checks.
And although Amada lost nearly all of his victims’ funds, he was still able to earn more than $150,000 in fees and commissions for himself over the course of three years, according to the statement. He used some of the funds for travel, dining, clothing and even online gambling.
“My office will use every tool in its arsenal to ensure criminals are brought to justice, because no one is above the law,” said Attorney General James.