by Assistant Director in Charge Pat D'Amuro, Federal
Bureau of Investigation, for the press conference
concerning the arrests made in connection with "Operation
late yesterday afternoon, through last evening,
and again early this morning, in excess of 200 FBI
Agents executed arrest warrants and search warrants
in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Tennessee
and Colorado in connection with “Operation
Wooden Nickel” – the most significant
law enforcement investigation ever of criminal activity
within the Foreign Currency Exchange markets.
This investigation was conducted over the past year-and-a-half
employing a variety of investigative techniques
to include extensive reviews and analysis of records,
electronic surveillance and – most importantly
– an undercover FBI Agent who had been accepted
by the defendants as a full partner in their schemes.
As a trusted business associate of the defendants,
the undercover FBI Agent learned that many of the
fraudulent activities in the foreign currency exchange
markets outlined in the court papers had been ongoing
for the past 20 years. In fact, several defendants
boasted to the Agent that there was no fear of ever
having to stop their schemes and frauds because
law enforcement would never be capable of getting
close enough to stop them.
The undercover FBI Agent provided us – quite
literally – with an inside look into the many
methods by which the foreign currency exchange markets
can be manipulated and used by those who seek to
profit by illegal means.
The work of the undercover Agent and the entire
investigative team revealed that these defendants
defrauded individual investors, ripped off financial
institutions, rigged foreign currency trades and
engaged in numerous other forms of criminal activity.
of those defendants were arrested last evening at
2 World Financial Center as they gathered for drinks
and what they thought was going to be the beginning
of a gambling junket to Atlantic City. In fact,
they lost their gamble before they ever got there.
FBI in New York has a vigorous White Collar Crime
program staffed by highly trained and motivated
Agents just like those who conducted this investigation
– and just like the FBI Agent who went undercover
to help expose these crimes. The goal - to insure
the integrity of our financial markets. The public
must have confidence that the markets are free of
undue influence and that those who work there, play
by the rules.
with one of the basic rules of the marketplace –
Let the Buyer Beware -- the FBI’s message
to those who seek to manipulate our markets and
defraud investors is simple - BEWARE - that person
you are conspiring with may very well be an undercover
Agent or an individual who is cooperating with the
Finally, let me say that the cooperation we received
from those financial institutions which fell victim
to the fraudulent activities of these defendants
was of great value to the investigation and I thank
would like to thank the Commodities Futures Trading
Commission and the United States Securities and
Exchange Commission for their assistance in this
also go to the staff of the United States Attorney’s
Office for all its hard work throughout the investigation.
would also like to express my appreciation to FBI
Supervisory Special Agent Patrick Carroll and Agents
Lawrence Ferazani, Timothy Bell and all the members
of our Securities Fraud Squad for their professionalism
and perseverance throughout this complex investigation.
to the FBI Agent who played such a critical role
in this case by working in an undercover capacity,
I thank you and your family for your dedication,
sacrifice and commitment to the cause.