By Associated Press - Wednesday, December 31, 2014

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - A federal court has ordered a Buncombe County man to pay more than $1.3 million for defrauding at least 19 people who invested in his commodities pool.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced Tuesday that Edwin Vasquez of Arden and his company, Vasquez Global Investments, have been ordered pay a fine of nearly $1 million as well as $332,000 in restitution.

According to the court order, Vasquez began deceiving investors in August 2011 and eventually collected more than $583,000 from people who thought they were investing in a “no risk” commodity pool. Vasquez lost more than $65,000 trading commodity futures. He also illegally spent about $332,000 on business and personal expenses, including travel and restaurants. Meanwhile, he gave investors false statements about the pool’s profitability.

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