Securities Commissioner Travis J. Iles entered an emergency cease and desist order against David A. Grissom and Premier Concepts, accusing them of illegally operating an unregistered forex investment scheme from Frisco, Texas.
According to the order, Grissom and Premier Concepts advertised the investments in a craigslist forum that targets residents of Dallas. The advertisement allegedly touted a passive investment opportunity that generates returns of up to 8% per month.
The parties have also been pitching the investment as safe and lucrative. According to the order, they are claiming to pay not only 8% per month but also a total return of 80%. The returns are purportedly guaranteed – meaning the parties are promising to pay investors regardless of the profitability of their underlying trading activity.
“Representations that an investment is safe with guaranteed returns are investment characteristics requiring the utmost scrutiny by investors. These types of representations are a central component of myriad investment opportunities later found to be fraudulent,” said Commissioner Iles. “Recovering investment funds after investing is all too often impossible.”
Grissom and Premier Concepts have been touting the success of this investment program. According to the order, they are representing they have already raised approximately $700,000 from the public.
Despite their claims of success, Grissom and Premier Concepts have not been registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission or the National Futures Association. They are also not registered to offer securities in Texas.
“The registration laws are critical to the protection of the public,” said Enforcement Director Joe Rotunda. “Anyone considering an investment pitched in an online forum should contact the Texas State Securities Board to determine the registration status of a promoter.” He also explained that investors should think twice before investing with anyone who is not registered or exempt from registration.
The Enforcement Division of the Texas State Securities Board recently informed Premier Concepts and Grissom they may have been offering or selling securities without complying with the Securities Act. According to the order, the parties thereafter acknowledged the applicability of the securities laws and agreed to remove their advertisement.
Their acknowledgement was a sham. Although the parties appeared to cooperate and comply with the law, Grissom and Premier Concepts allegedly continued to illegally and fraudulently solicit investments in the forex trading program.
The order accuses the parties of using fraudulent, misleading and deceptive practices to recruit new investors. For example, although Grissom and Premier Concepts are guaranteeing the payment of highly lucrative fixed returns, they are allegedly concealing material information – such as key financial information showing assets and liabilities that demonstrates their actual ability to pay these fixed, guaranteed returns.
The parties are also allegedly claiming the forex trading investment is safe. However, according to the order, they are not providing investors with important information that reflects the true risks associated with forex investments – such as the material risks associated with foreign currency.
The parties have 30 days to challenge the order.
Contact: Joe Rotunda, Director of Enforcement, Texas State Securities Board, at firstname.lastname@example.org.