Additional Archives
Securities Division Newsletters
August 2014 Newsletter
In this edition we report that Walter Ray Reinhardt and Claude Darrell McDougal both recently pled guilty in separate cases to bilking investors. Reinhardt was sentenced to 15-20 years in prison. McDougal is awaiting sentencing. We also report on case that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has brought against another North Carolina man, Edwin A. Vasquez, and his company, Vasquez Global Investments, LLC (VGI). The CFTC has charged Vasquez and his company with misappropriation, solicitation fraud, and issuing false statements in connection with the operation of an unregistered commodity trading pool. We also reprint an article originally published by The Pew Charitable Trusts about fighting frauds aimed at seniors. We also urge investors to take our 5-Minute Challenge and call the NC Securities Division at (800) 688-4507 to verify that their investment professionals are registered to do business in North Carolina and do not have a troublesome disciplinary history. We report on some new initiatives by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) aimed at screening broker license applications for bad actors and on issues confronting senior investors. We reprint an Investor Alert from the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) warning that scammers are using social media outlets to spread false stock rumors. We also include our Calendar of Upcoming Events, and On The Docket, Recent Enforcement Actions and News from the Regulators features.
June/July 2014 Newsletter
In this edition, we report on the conviction of Steven Jones, of Charlotte, the latest person to be convicted of crimes related to Operation Wax House, an investigation which began in 2007 and has netted 91 defendants to date, 86 of whom have pleaded guilty or been convicted following a trial. The NC Department of the Secretary of State Securities Division has been an active partner in Operation Wax House. Mr. Jones was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, securities fraud, wire fraud scheme to defraud investors and money laundering conspiracy. We also report that the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) is actively seeking public comment on a proposed model rule for the electronic filing of Form D and other securities registration or notice filing documents. Comments are due on or before July 30, 2014. We also include a link to NASAA's 2013-14 annual report detailing the activities NASAA and its member jurisdictions, including North Carolina, have undertaken over the past year to protect investors while promoting innovative ways to foster small business capital formation. We also include a new Investor Bulletin ("Transferring Your Investment Account) and Investor Alert ("Check Out Your Financial Professional") published by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We also have included an alert published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) entitled, "Nutraceutical Stock Scams--Don't Supplement Your Portfolio with These Companies". We also include our regular features: Calendar of Upcoming Events, On The Docket, Recent Enforcement Actions, and News from the Regulators.
April/May 2014 Newsletter
In this edition, we include an investor advisory on virtual currency, information about a state-wide effort to combat elder fraud the Securities Division is undertaking with other partners and a notice about a free fraud prevention program in Wilmington. We also include the results of a survey conducted by the North American Securities Administrators Association which highlights the wide disparity in how broker-dealers disclose the fees they charge their customers and the questionable practices some broker-dealers engage in with regard to fees and markups. Also included is an update on the effort by state securities regulators to streamline a multi-state coordinated review protocol to ease regulatory compliance costs on small companies attempting to raise capital under a provision of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. We also include an update in the case involving Mitchell Brian Huffman of Charlotte, North Carolina. Mr. Huffman has been ordered to pay a $2.1 million civil monetary penalty for operating a fraudulent commodity pool scheme that defrauded customers of more than $3.2 million in connection with exchange-traded commodity futures contracts. We include an Investor Bulletin originally published by the US Securities and Exchange Commission on how to open a brokerage account. Finally, we include our usual Calendar of Upcoming Events, Recent Enforcement Actions and News from the Regulators.
February/March 2014 Newsletter
In this edition, we update the case involving Michael Anthony Jenkins, a Raleigh man accused of conducting a Ponzi scheme involving E-mini futures. He was recently ordered by Judge James C. Fox of the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina to pay restitution and penalties totaling over $5.2 million as the result of a civil case brought against Jenkins by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Law enforcement agents of the NC Department of the Secretary of State Securities Division arrested Jenkins on August 17, 2012, on three counts of securities fraud. He has been in Wake County Jail under a secured bond awaiting trial ever since. Also in this edition, Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall announces the Top 10 financial products and practices that threaten to trap unwary investors and small business owners during 2014 as compiled by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), of which North Carolina is a member. We share five tips compiled by FINRA that can help everyone achieve greater financial security. We also provide an in-depth analysis of the SEC's proposed rule on so-called Regulation A+ securities offerings and why the proposed rules, if implemented, would be harmful to investors and small businesses alike. We also reprint SEC Investor Bulletins on how fees and expenses affect your investment portfolio and on things you should know about variable annuities. Finally, we include our regular features: Calendar of Upcoming Events; On The Docket; Recent Enforcement Actions; and News from the Regulators.
January 2014 Newsletter
In this issue, we devote considerable attention to the issue of equity crowdfunding. Last October, the SEC proposed rules on equity crowdfunding in accordance with the federal JOBS Act. We provide background information on this topic as well as links to the SEC's proposed rules. We also provide information every investor and small business alike should consider before jumping into equity crowdfunding. We also include a FINRA investor alert on closed-end funds. We report that Daniel H. Williford of Stateville is facing federal charges for his role in a multi-million-dollar Ponzi scheme, as are Dawn Wright-Olivares and step-son Daniel Olivares, both lately of Arkansas, for their role in the ZeekRewards Ponzi and pyramid scheme. We also include an SEC investor bulletin on how to interpret the credit ratings of debt securities like bonds, notes and other debt instruments. We also include our regular features: On The Docket; Recent Enforcement Actions; and News from the Regulators.