Mar 10
2017

Are You Cyber-Insecure? Resources for Investment Advisers

The Texas State Securities Board has published resources to assist state-registered investment advisory firms and other registered professionals in developing and strengthening cybersecurity plans.

“Cyberattacks are on the rise, and their scope and complexity mean state-registered...

Feb 23
2017

Financial Guidance for the Military

Military Saves Week is Feb. 27 through March 4, and the Texas State Securities Board continues to offer a resource-packed financial guide to help members of our military make confident, informed financial decisions.

A Salute to Smart Investing provides active military members with the...

Jan 24
2017

It's Back: Your Guide to Safer and Smarter Investing

You asked, we answered. The State Securities Board’s flagship publication, the Texas Investor Guide: Strategies for Investing Wisely and Avoiding Financial Fraud , is back in stock, updated for 2017, and available for free.

The Investor Guide provides unbiased, straightforward...

Jan 23
2017

Talking Heads, Chasing Yield, and Other Investor Threats

Most New Year's lists of the financial variety are inflicted on the public for no apparent reason. No one consistently predicts the direction of the stock market or can tell you the 10 Best Mutual Funds to buy or which mattresses will best conceal your cash.

The Texas State Securities...

Jan 18
2017

The Year in Enforcement: Tough But Fair Regulation

The State Securities Board assisted in the prosecution of investment fraud cases in 2016 that resulted in prison sentences totaling 82 years and $17.9 million in orders of restitution for investors.

In addition, investigations resulted in the indictment of 13 individuals in nine Texas...

Dec 30
2016

Administrative Action Report: Oct.-Dec. 2016

The following are summaries of administrative actions and orders taken from Oct. 1 through Dec. 30, 2016.

Bruce Russell Clark: Reprimand, Fine

Texas Securities Commissioner John Morgan entered a Disciplinary Order Dec. 30 that levied a $5,000 fine and reprimanded Bruce Russell Clark of...

Dec 20
2016

Documents in the Matter of Bobby Eugene Guess, et al.

The following are public documents in the State of Texas criminal case against Bobby Eugene Guess and the Texas State Securities Board's proceedings against Texas First Financial LLC; Bobby Eugene Guess; Mechanical Motion Solutions LLC; and related parties.

Criminal Case

Affidavit for...

Dec 20
2016

Guess What? Investment Promoter Arrested In $6M Fraud

Bobby Eugene Guess, who promoted himself as a financial maven through radio advertising and investment seminars in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, was arrested Dec. 19 following his indictment on charges related to the multi-million-dollar sale of investments in an Internet advertising company....

Nov 10
2016

Annual Registration Renewal Fees Due

Securities dealer and investment adviser registrations and notice filings for investment advisers, as well as those for their agents and representatives, expire at the end of the calendar year. 

Renewal statements were sent to registrants the week of November 8, 2016.

Failure to pay renewal fees in full or delaying payment of fees may result. . .

Nov 9
2016

North Texas Oil and Gas Scammer Sentenced to 22 Years

Susan Gay Pruitt, who sold interests in phantom oil and gas exploration projects in Texas and three other states, was sentenced to 22 years in prison on Tuesday in Collin County State District Court.

Pruitt pleaded guilty to theft and money laundering on Monday as her trial was about to...

Oct 17
2016

Adviser Suspended 5 Years for Overcharging Clients

Texas Securities Commissioner John Morgan entered a Disciplinary Order on Oct. 14 that suspended Jens Pinkernell, an investment adviser representative, for five years.

As part of the order, Pinkernell repaid $46,915 to two clients who were charged unauthorized and excessive fees by...

Oct 3
2016

Firm Fined $100,000 for Sale of Mortgage-Linked Securities

Old Security Financial Group Inc. of Spring was fined $100,000 for selling unregistered investments in a “mortgage note program” supposedly backed by commercial real estate.

The fine, which will be paid to the General Fund of the State of Texas, was assessed against Old Security, its...

Sep 30
2016

Administrative Action Report: July-Sept. 2016

The following are summaries of administrative actions and orders taken from July 1 through Sept. 30, 2016.

Charles Schwab: Co. Inc.: Fine, Reprimand

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. was reprimanded and agreed to pay a $95,000 fine for failing to verify that certain individuals with powers...

Sep 22
2016

Schwab Reprimanded, Fined $95,000 for Supervisory Failures

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. was reprimanded and agreed to pay a $95,000 fine for failing to verify that certain individuals with powers of attorney in client accounts were required to be registered as investment advisers.

The reprimand and fine are part of a Consent Order entered by...

Sep 19
2016

Travis Iles Named Deputy Commissioner

Texas Securities Commissioner John Morgan announced today that Travis J. Iles has been named Deputy Commissioner of the State Securities Board.

Iles joined the State Securities Board in 2001 and for the past six years served as Assistant Director of the Enforcement Division. He also...

Aug 25
2016

Investor Alert: Scams Target Immigrant Investor Visa Program

An immigrant visa program designed to attract foreign investment in U.S. businesses has also attracted scammers targeting immigrant investors.

At issue is the federal immigrant visa known as the Employment-Based, Fifth Preference (EB-5) visa. Foreign investors who meet certain...

Aug 15
2016

Emergency Action Filed Against Dallas-Area Investment Promoter

Texas Securities Commissioner John Morgan entered an Emergency Cease and Desist Order on Aug. 15 that requires Bobby Eugene Guess, an unregistered investment promoter, to stop engaging in fraud in marketing promissory notes tied to a wide array of businesses.

The emergency order cites...

Aug 15
2016

15-Year Sentence for Stock-Trade Scam

Enticed by the promise of quick profits, investors in and around the small South Texas town of Alice sunk at least $5 million into Michael Anthony Collins’ stock-trading operation only to see their money stolen outright or used to fund a Ponzi scheme.

Collins pleaded guilty to charges of...

Jun 30
2016

Administrative Action Report: April-June 2016

The following are summaries of administrative actions and orders taken from April 1 through June 30, 2016.

Ralph W. Lillard and Stanley B. Catlin: Cease and Desist, Fines

Texas Securities Commissioner John Morgan on May 31 entered consent orders that fined two unregistered individuals...

May 23
2016

Houston Investment Adviser Sanctioned for Violations of 'Custody Rule'

Texas Securities Commissioner John Morgan on May 23 entered a Consent Order against Post Oak Investment Management Inc. , a Houston investment adviser.

Post Oak Investment Management paid a $1,000 fine and was reprimanded for violating the State Securities Board’s “custody rule,” which...

Apr 5
2016

Investor Alert: Pension Advance Scams

If you are receiving regular payments from your pension, keep an eye out for sales pitches that ask you to trade the stability of those payments for the opportunity to make a quick buck.

The come-on will probably be as subtle as a used-car ad: Are you earning a pension from your former employer 

Apr 1
2016

Austin Forex Trader Ordered to Stop Fraudulent Offering

Texas Securities Commissioner John Morgan on March 30 entered an Emergency Cease and Desist Order requiring David Del Castillo of Austin to stop offering for sale investments in a foreign exchange trading operation.

Del Castillo promoted his supposed expertise in forex trading –...

Mar 31
2016

Administrative Action Report: January-March 2016

The following are summaries of administrative actions and orders taken between Jan. 1 and March 30, 2016.

SoBell Corp. and Andrew Gamber: Emergency Cease and Desist Order

Texas Securities Commissioner John Morgan on Feb. 1 entered an Emergency Cease and Desist Order against a heavily...

Mar 30
2016

Perpetrator of $37M Real Estate Fraud Sentenced to 19 Years

Derek A. Nelson ’s Garland-based real-estate investment program promised huge profits, with little risk, from the business of buying and renovating distressed properties.

Distress, yes: Investors poured approximately $37 million into the promissory notes Nelson sold to purportedly fund...

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