Canadian racing driver and Instagram influencer accused of ‘massive fraudulent’ scheme that defrauded investors of millions

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scheduled tribe. Katherines, Ont. –Canadian race car driver Josh Cartu strikes a glamorous pose on social media: surrounded by expensive sports cars, hobbies with movie stars and fashion models, and traveling from his private jet to European party hotspots like Ibiza and Cannes To travel.

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Cartu, who grew up in St. Catharines, Ont., has an Instagram account of over 700,000 followers (@jcartu) which documents their adventures, racing a Ferrari, attending Milan Fashion Week and riding to the edge of the stratosphere in a Russian MiG fighter jet.

Among those following closely are securities regulators in Ontario and the United States, which accuse Cartu and his two younger brothers of enriching themselves through an illegal online stock trading scheme operating out of an office in Israel.

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US officials allege that Cartus ran a “largely fraudulent” trading operation between 2013 and 2017 that seems to have led to Cartu’s lavish lifestyle through multi-million-dollar transfers to off-shore bank accounts in the Caribbean. helped to fund.

Regulators accused the Cartu brothers of selling risky “binary options,” effectively betting on the future direction of a publicly traded stock’s price. Like sports bets, they are all-or-nothing propositions. Predict correctly which direction the stock will move and the investment will pay off in full. Feels wrong and it’s gone.

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Investors were reportedly recruited online and offered returns “between 60-85%”, but most lost money.

Last week, the case was up for hearing before the Ontario Securities Commission, which last year took a civil enforcement action against Josh Cartu and his brothers Jonathan Cartu and David Cartu for claiming they had illegally defrauded nearly 700 Ontario investors. Options were sold.

US regulators allege that Cartas’ companies misrepresented the results of trades and would not refund investors when they asked for their money back.

One of the alleged victims is a Barry, Ont., man who works as a controller for an electric utility. He said in an affidavit last month that he had invested $628,000 through one of the Cartu companies and was unable to recover any of it.

“It was a devastating loss because it represented almost all of my retirement savings,” he said in the statement.

David Cartu has since settled with the OSC and is no longer part of the legal action, but is still being prosecuted in the US and Ireland.

Eldest brother Josh Cartoo, 42, was removed as a client by the Toronto office of law firm Dentons in the OSC case. The firm told the commission in January that it had not paid its legal fees and was unable to obtain instructions from it.

Where is Josh Cartoo?

It’s also been difficult for them to find Josh Cartu. Commodity Futures Trading Commission In the US, where he and his brothers are facing charges involving too much money and many more investors from around the world.

The Cartu brothers, along with a Texas man and two other Canadian brothers – Liev Peretz and Nati Peretz in Windsor, Ont., but now in Israel – are accused of securities breaches involving companies that took US$165 million in credit cards Was. payment from investors.

“These brokers also falsely claimed that the proposed binary options transactions were profitable when most clients lost money,” the CFTC said in a statement, accusing the companies of “manipulating the results of certain trades so as to cause losses to clients.” to be delivered and to earn profits for themselves.” “

The case is currently in a Texas court and none of the charges have been proven.

Josh Cartoo did not respond to repeated requests for an interview, and the US attorney representing his brothers declined Granthshala News’ request for comment.

David Cartu participated in the OSC case through legal counsel and in May agreed to a settlement in which he admitted to violating Ontario securities law. He will pay $315,000 in penalties and fees — a small percentage of the money that US regulators say he receives from his online operations.

Josh Cartu can be seen in this picture posted on his Instagram. (Jcartu/Instagram)

OSC investigators said they were satisfied that David Cartu “was not a key actor in the binary options trading program and did not induce investors to enter trades.”

Cartes grew up in St. Catharines, where at least one attended Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School, and his father, Lazar Cartu, operated a local Honda dealership. His mother, originally from Ottawa, died suddenly when Josh Cartoo was six years old. Lazar later remarried to a Florida woman.

In a 2018 interview about his racing career, Cartu described himself as “an idiot” and said he was a poor student growing up, but had an interest in computers, his home phone. Turned off the ringer so that people could call into the bulletin board system. Ran will not wake up his parents. He said that he did a car wash and later worked as a salesman in a Honda dealership.

How Cartu got his initial selling options is unclear, but in 2008, he was appointed as CEO of a small online gaming company called Dice Partners, incorporated in Panama. The company operated in a gray area of ​​legislation that banned gambling sites run by US Cartu, which helped establish gaming platforms overseas. Two investors in Wyoming sued Cartu, alleging it had taken control of the company’s websites and put more than US$10 million in their bank accounts.

Cartu denied the allegations at trial, saying he was a citizen and resident of Israel at the time and had never been to Wyoming. Ingan’s suit was dismissed at his request in 2013 after the court found that it did not have jurisdiction over a non-resident.

Kelly Egan, a Jackson, Wyoming-based attorney who represented her husband, Bruce Egan, one of the investors, said they went to the FBI but that the bureau was not interested in a dispute involving a business that was American. Walking on the margins of law.

But it appears that online gambling has taken Cartu into new ventures. According to the complaint filed by the US CFTC, BeeOptions, one of the online options trading companies, began operating in 2013 out of a conference room at the office of a gaming company run by Josh and David. The commission says the Cartu brothers also ran a network of other companies, Rumelia Capital and Glenridge Capital—apparently named for the St. Catharines neighborhood where their parents still live.

Investigators say the companies emailed investors for binary options trades with the promise of extraordinary returns.

The trades were pitched by Glenridge CEO “Vincent Glenn”, who the CFCT believes is a completely fictitious person. They allege that Jonathan Carteau used the nickname “John Cartier” when contacting investors.

A retiree from Orangeville, Ont.-Area told Granthshala News that he started investing in small amounts, but was encouraged to put in more money, and was given a bonus for continuing to invest. Was. But he could never withdraw the money, eventually losing about $30,000.

“I’m not loaded, it was a lot of money,” he said. “I was a fool. I was taken.”

The man is now one of 35 investors around the world suing over trades in Ireland.

According to the CFTC’s complaint, the business of the Cartu brothers was highly profitable. Josh and Jonathan transferred US$9.2 million in profits from these companies to offshore accounts, the complaint alleges: Josh’s money went to a company founded in Belize; Jonathan for Seychelles; While David received US$4.9 million through a corporation in the British Virgin Islands and US$4.1 million through a UK corporation.

‘I Kissed a Frog and Found a Prince’

Josh Cartu’s wealth is evident in his extraordinary social media presence. It features photos and videos of him driving a Ferrari at the annual week-long Gumball 3000 rallies between cities in Europe and beyond. In one video, he shows off what appears to be his own Cessna Citation executive jet, which includes a carbon-fiber ladder, tray table, and even a carbon-fiber toilet in the toilet. Is.

Cartu was once romantically involved with Israeli model Lee Levy, who had previously dated the son of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “I kissed a frog and found a prince,” she said of Cartu in an Israeli TV interview. “I didn’t even want to get on his private jet in the beginning.” Cartu attended the interview Levi said via video chat on the phone that he has no problem dating anyone in the public eye.

The old photos posted by Cartu have been identified as Hungarian model and former Miss Bikini contestant in Budapest Ole Henriette.

“I was not a good kid growing up,” Cartu said in a 2018 interview.

“I was not getting good grades. I was not getting girls… I never thought I would come here.”

Joe Pesci, left, Robert De Niro, center left, Martin Scorsese, center right, and Josh Carteau, right, can be seen in this image. (Jcartu/Instagram)

She has also been photographed with actors Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden and director Martin Scorsese. Australian actor Sullivan Stapleton drove in Star of 300: Rise of an Empire, a Gumball 3000 rally as Cartu’s “co-pilot”.

The Ferrari website lists Cartu as a driver on its Challenge Series racing team, which allows owners of high-end Ferrari models to attempt to compete on the race track. And he presents himself as an ambassador for Hublot, a Swiss company that sells luxury wristwatches. The company told Granthshala News that it never had a contractual relationship with Cartu, but acknowledged that he was involved in events at Ferrari, where Hublot provided official timing.

Cartu’s brisk online presence has made him a subject of attraction for motor sports enthusiasts and the financial press. He has been profiled in Forbes and the Huffington Post, described…

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