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Fri., March 4, 2011, 8:48 a.m.

State sues Coeur d’Alene man for commodity trading

The Idaho Department of Finance has sued a Coeur d'Alene man for promoting a commodities trading scheme that cost investors $1.3 million.

Keith Eugene Mitchell, according to a complaint filed in Kootenai County District Court, did not tell investors the department had ordered him to stop violating security laws in 2003, when a $25,000 civil penalty was imposed.

Nor did Mitchell tell them he is not licensed by federal regulators.

Starting in 2007, Mitchell promised investors returns as high as 60 percent on commodity futures options. They would lose no more than five percent of their principal, he said.

But when market action turned in a way incompatible with Mitchell's system in 2008, the complaint says, investors lost all or nearly all their money.

The suit seeks $1.3 million in restitution and $100,000 in fines.  

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Bert Caldwell
Bert Caldwell oversees production of the opinion pages, including writing editorials, and editing and selecting letters, columns and cartoons.