Midwood man charged with defrauding investors with Ponzi scheme

A Midwood man was arraigned on Sept. 26 on charges of defrauding investors with a Ponzi scheme by allegedly soliciting more than $1.25 million from at least 14 customers despite being banned for life from commodities trading.

Yehuda Belsky — also known as “Jay Bell” — owner of Brooklyn-based Y Trading, LLC, allegedly lured in commodities investors by falsely portraying himself as having a successful track record with investing, but then allegedly used their money for his own personal use or to repay other customers whom he tricked into investing, according to U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard Donoghue.

The defendant was barred for life from trading in commodities by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 2008 for committing a $1,250,000 fraud by misappropriating funds in his previous limited-liability investment company, according to a press release by the commission.

From March 2014 to June 2018 the defendant allegedly got investors to give him money through a new limited-liability company, according to the recent indictment.

During that time, he allegedly presented himself as a successful commodities trader, enticing his victims by showing them phony monthly account statements that falsely made his track record in commodities trading look successful, according to the indictment.

Donoghue said his office is committed to prosecuting fraudsters who victimize investors.

“As alleged in the indictment, [the defendant] lured commodities investors with false promises of his trading success, and then betrayed them by embezzling their money,” said Donoghue. “This office, together with our law enforcement partners, is committed to vigorously investigating and prosecuting those who seek to use commodities markets as a means to illegally enrich themselves at the expense of investors.”

The defendant is due back in court on Oct. 24.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.