Texas Securities Commissioner Travis J. Iles entered an Emergency Cease and Desist Order against Paul Leslie Depew and How Bazzar, LLC, to stop their fraudulent sale of investments to fund a flea market in Dallas, Texas.
Depew, a DFW resident, is allegedly advertising the interests in How Bazzar on craigslist. Investors can reportedly purchase five percent of the interests issued by How Bazzar for $25,000. He allegedly claims he will use the money to move the flea market to a new facility with 60,000 square feet in the Northwestern Hills area in Dallas. According to the order, Depew is telling investors their investment may return $5,000 per month for ten years.
The order does not describe Depew as a savvy entrepreneur or skilled business owner. Instead, it alleges Depew is a thief with a long criminal history. He has been convicted of eight counts of felony theft, one count of harassment and one count of criminal mischief, according to the order. The order also alleges Depew has been sentenced to serve various terms of confinement in prison, including 15-year prison sentences and 10-year prison sentences.
Depew is accused of using the alias “Leslie Paul” to conceal his identity and criminal history from potential investors.
He is also accused of falsely telling potential investors the Securities and Exchange Commission prevents him from providing information about his business history.
Depew’s past business dealings do not bode well for the success of the flea market, according to the order. An owner of a commercial shopping center previously sued Depew and a different business under his control for failing to pay rent. In 2015 the landlord won a summary judgment for more than $100,000 and Depew and his business were ordered to pay more than $30,000 in attorney’s fees.
According to the order, an abstract of judgment was filed against Depew’s property and his judgment creditors may seek a writ of execution against his real and personal property in that county.
Depew is not registered with the agency to sell securities. The interests in How Bazzar have not been registered or permitted for sale by the agency.
Depew and How Bazzar have 30 days to challenge the order.