Some of those investors lost nearly everything and are grasping for straws to make ends meet. Eric Cox of Bend, OR is one of those investors. In the spring of 2009, Cox came across an opportunity to investor in the foreign currency exchange market from a “close family friend,” Deana Salazar. Cox said that Salazar purported herself to be a system administrator on the behalf of Black Diamond Capital Solutions. He explained that he had success stories of investors netting positive returns and decided to look into it.
“The sad part is,” Cox explained. “That based on our confidence and relationship with Deana, we actually referred a few friends.”
Cox explained that altogether, he and five fiends lost over $1 million in investor money. Shortly after initially investing in May, Cox felt that something was off with how the investor money was being. Although he became aware that BDCS was preparing to transition investor funds into individually managed accounts, which he believes to a correct practice, he later discovered that these accounts became frozen and inaccessible.
Simmons allegedly told Cox and other investors that a foreign investor was looking to “pay out” the remaining investors in an attempt to “help get everyone’s money back so traders would not have to liquidate.”
According to a criminal complaint filed in the United States District Court, Simmons knew of a “liquidity provider” located in Germany, known as Klaus Bruner, who was in the process of wiring funds stateside in order to replace Black Diamond’s supposed position on the un-named foreign trading platform. This platform was purportedly “exclusive and difficult to enter” and Simmons claimed that the liquidity provider was anxious about this opportunity. He claimed, the complaint read that once these funds were received, and then Black Diamond would utilize the services of a paymaster located in Florida to coordinate the complicated task of paying out funds to a large number of investors simultaneously. Simmons later admitted that he did not anyone by the name of Klaus Burner and never placed investor money in the foreign trading platform and that he “was never able to find a suitable trading platform.”
Cox explained that he and others retained hope and optimism that somehow Simmons would be able to retrieve the money investor even after he learned shortly after Christmas that his intentions of investing in the trading platform was in fact a scam.
“It was a difficult Christmas,” Cox said.
Due to the extent of his losses, Cox explained that he and his family will be preparing to move in with family in Texas to ease the burden it has placed on them.
“It has destroyed lives,” Cox said. “It has just devastated us and we are trying to start over.”
In the beginning, Cox did not believe that Simmons was trying to take advantage of the situation and was “sincere” in his actions.
“He didn’t have silver tongue and he seemed like a good ole boy,” he said. “He was believable from the standpoint that he wasn’t trying to pull a scam.”
Even after cross-referencing with other investors, Cox said that Simmons’ story was “so perfected and almost exactly the same” citing that he did not see an inconsistency with stories.
Simmons, Cox explained, seemed genuine in his efforts to free up investor money. He claimed that Simmons told him that he was receiving death threats and was “stressed” from internal and external pressures. Simmons even told Cox that the entire situation was adversely affecting his marriage.
“The thing I don’t understand is why he didn’t leave? Why did he wait until December to be arrested?” Cox said.
Despite the entire ordeal, Cox is remaining optimistic that he will somehow be able to recover his losses. He said that he has heard speculation of Simmons having an off shore account but realizes that there is less than one percent chance of that coming into fruition.
“I’m not holding breath,” Cox said. “I feel that Keith would have ‘fessed up to that instead of sitting in jail.”