Hedge Funds

CFTC alleges $5.7 million Shasta fundraising fraud


New Jersey-based Equity Financial Group and its president Vincent Firth have been accused of fraudulently raising $5.7 million from some 29 investors, according to complaint filed this week by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The complaint alleges that investors were deceived into thinking their money would be targeted at Shasta Capital Associates, a commodity pool that was pitched via a website, as a hedge fund with annual returns in excess of 100% for each of the past three years.

The CFTC alleges that Firth's claim that Shasta returned 137.9% between March 2003 and February 2004 was bogus. In