Sep 6

'Unicorn' to Pay $1.2M in Restitution to Corpus Christi Woman

The Unicorn is paying the price for his financial crimes.

Nicholas Baratoff Jr. , a resident of the coastal village of Sea Cliff, N.Y., near New York City, paid $360,000 in restitution on Sept. 6 to an elderly Corpus Christi woman who invested in projects that were supposedly operated...

Aug 30

Investor Alert: Scammers and Hurricane Harvey

In the wake of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey, the Texas State Securities Board is cautioning investors to watch out for opportunistic investment scams.

"We know from experience that disasters can bring out scammers who seek to profit from the misfortune of others,” Texas...

Aug 1

Travis Iles Appointed Texas Securities Commissioner

The Texas State Securities Board on Aug. 1 appointed Travis J. Iles as Securities Commissioner, effective Sept. 1.

Iles, a 16-year veteran of the agency, has served as Deputy Commissioner since September 2016. He previously served as Assistant Director of the Enforcement Division and...

Jul 20

San Antonio Investment Adviser Suspended, Fined

Michael Keith Parish , a San Antonio investment adviser, has been suspended for 30 days and fined $5,000 for for violating Texas State Securities Board rules regarding custody of client funds.

Texas Securities Commissioner John Morgan entered the Disciplinary Order on July 18.


Jun 30

Administrative Action Report April-June 2017

The following are summaries of administrative actions and orders taken from April 1 through June 30, 2017.

Trevor M. Carney: Fined, Reprimanded

Securities Commissioner John Morgan entered a Disciplinary Order on June 21 that fined and reprimanded Trevor M. Carney , a securities agent in...

Jun 8

Houston-Area Adviser Pleads Guilty in $1.9 Million Fraud

Lawrence Allen DeShetler, an investment adviser and former certified financial planner in The Woodlands, pleaded guilty to mail fraud June 8 in U.S. District Court in Beaumont, Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston announced.

DeShetler fraudulently obtained $1.9 million from five...

Jun 5

Email Request Marked SPAM, But Compliance Officer Wired Money Anyway

Securities Commissioner John Morgan entered a Disciplinary Order June 2 that fined and reprimanded a Chicago-based securities dealer whose compliance officer repeatedly wired funds to individuals pretending to be a 75-year-old Texas client of the firm.

In three separate transactions in...

May 24

Southeast Asia, West Africa, and a Bankrupt Texas Investment Promoter

Nearly $341,000 in restitution has been paid to investors in a company whose fraud stretched from Southeast Asia to southeast Texas to West Africa.

Alan Derek Jernigan , who sold investments in deals that would purportedly export medical test kits to the Philippines and Malaysia, was...

May 22

Unregistered Dallas Firm Agrees to Halt Stock Sales

Dback Capital Inc . of Dallas and its president, Kenneth Edward Shelton , agreed to stop violating the law by selling stock in two companies to Texas residents.

Texas Securities Commissioner John Morgan entered the Agreed and Cease Desist Order on May 22.

Neither Dback Capital...

May 8

Order: Stock Scheme Promoters Impersonating Advisory Firm

Texas Securities Commissioner John Morgan entered an Emergency Cease and Desist Order on May 5 alleging that two investment promoters who are soliciting funds for a stock scheme are falsely claiming to be an existing investment advisory firm in Dallas.

According to the order, Raymond...

May 5

Austin Concert Promoter's Encore: 10-Year Prison Sentence

One-time entertainment promoter David Elliott Rosen of Austin was sentenced to 10 years to prison on May 4 for for a nearly $2 million fraud based on the sale of investments in his concert-promotion business.

Rosen pleaded guilty to securities fraud in Travis County State District Court...

Apr 10

Oil and Gas Promoter Sentenced to 6 Years

Years before Mark Christopher Parman of Frisco started selling investments in oil and gas projects, he had been sanctioned by regulators, ordered to pay $2 million in restitution to previous investors and clients, and filed for bankruptcy.

Now add convict to Parman’s resume. He was...

Mar 31

Administrative Action Report Jan.-March 2017

The following are summaries of administrative actions and orders taken from Jan. 1 through March 31, 2017.

Robert Yrshus: Suspended, Fined

Texas Securities Commissioner John Morgan suspended the investment adviser representative registration of Robert Yrshus of Houston for 60 days and...

Mar 10

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

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

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

Investor Alert: To Ruin Your Finances, Ignore This Warning

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

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

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

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....

Dec 20

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...

Nov 10

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

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

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...