Dec 20

Bitcoin Promoter USI-Tech Hit With Emergency Order

Texas Securities Commissioner Travis J. Iles entered an Emergency Cease and Desist Order Dec. 20 against USI-Tech Limited, an overseas firm that is promising low-risk, triple-digit returns from investments tied to Bitcoin mining.

The enforcement staff of the State Securities Board...

Dec 7

North Texas Adviser Fined for Not Disclosing $192,000 in Tax Liens

Richard L. Havard , a registered investment adviser representative in the North Dallas suburb of Prosper, has been fined $7,500 and reprimanded for failing to disclose $192,573 in IRS tax liens.

Texas Securities Commissioner Travis J. Iles imposed the sanctions in a Disciplinary Order...

Dec 5

Firms Urged to Use New Reporting Form for Suspected Financial Exploitation

The Texas State Securities Board has developed a form to help financial firms report critical information about the suspected financial exploitation of vulnerable adults.

Reporting this type of suspected financial exploitation is required under Section 45 of the Texas Securities Act ....

Dec 4

Austin Real Estate Swindler Sentenced to 15 Years

James Elton “Jim” Warr of Austin, who promised guaranteed returns from investing in real estate, was sentenced to 15 years in state prison on Dec. 1 after his conviction in Travis County on four first-degree felony counts.

Warr, 69, stole $1.1 million from individuals who bought...

Nov 29

Top 10 Investor Threats (In Time for the Holidays)

We don’t mean to add to the stress of this long holiday season, but there is another kind of stress that makes decisions about holiday decorations look like a walk in the park.

It’s financial stress, and making ill-advised investment decisions is a leading cause. Sometimes it’s buying...

Nov 15

Clinton Edgar Named Deputy Securities Commissioner

The Texas State Securities Board on Nov. 14 approved the appointment of Clinton Edgar as Deputy Securities Commissioner.

Edgar joined the State Securities Board in 2010. He has served as a staff attorney in the Inspections and Compliance Division and in 2016 he became the Director of the...

Nov 2

Houston Adviser Who Preyed on Elderly Sentenced to 5 Years

Lawrence Allen DeShetler , an investment adviser in The Woodlands, convinced five clients – two of whom were in their 80s – to cash out legitimate investments and transfer the money to him so he could get them higher returns.

DeShetler instead deposited the money into bank accounts...

Oct 24

Houston-Area Adviser Suspended 90 Days, Firm Fined $15,000

Texas Securities Commissioner Travis J. Iles on Oct. 23 entered a Disciplinary Order that suspended investment adviser John Michael McDonough for 90 days and fined 212 Advisory Group LLC $15,000 for violating a previous agreement regarding securities regulations.

The Securities...

Oct 3

Judge Orders $29M in Restitution in Oil and Gas Fraud Case

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel on Oct. 2 ordered Austin attorney Robert Allen Helms and his business partner, Janniece S. Kaelin , to pay $29 million in restitution to investors in the pair's oil-and-gas royalties scam.

Yeakel previously sentenced Helms and Kaelin to 78 months in federal...

Oct 2

The Wide World of Investing

Federal and state securities regulators, including the Texas State Securities Board, are issuing this Investor Bulletin to highlight the key messages of World Investor Week , a week-long, global campaign promoted by the International Organization of Securities Commissions to raise awareness...

Sep 30

Administrative Action Report: July-Sept. 2017

The following is the quarterly report of administrative actions and orders taken by the State Securities Board from July 1 through Sept. 30, 2017.

Michael Keith Parish: Suspended, Fined

Michael Keith Parish , a San Antonio investment adviser, was suspended for 30 days and fined $5,000...

Sep 26

State Regulators Taking More Actions Against Registered Firms

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) reported Sept. 26 that state securities regulators took more enforcement actions against registered members of the securities industry than non-registered individuals or firms, continuing a trend that began last year.


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...