Gansler issues order against investment firm
BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) - Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler's Securities Division has issued a summary cease and desist and order to show cause on Wednesday against an investment firm and its owner.
Casey Charles and his company, Infinite Equity Strategies LLC, allegedly violated Maryland securities laws by selling unregistered securities, acting as an unregistered investment adviser and issuer agent and engaging in fraud in connection with their securities and investment advisory practices. Investor losses alleged in the order amount to almost $500,000.
"We took this action to immediately protect Maryland investors against further losses," Gansler said. "Mr. Charles and IES are ordered to halt the sale of fraudulent investments, including the IES promissory notes."
The division is seeking sanctions against Charles and his company, including fines and a permanent bar from the investment and securities advisory business in Maryland.
According to the order, Charles allegedly misappropriated investors' monies through an illegal scheme involving the sale of fraudulent IES promissory notes, in addition to the unauthorized transfer of investor assets to accounts under Charles' control.
With some investors, Charles arranged for the transfer of their retirement funds to an Ohio trust company, whereupon he allegedly engaged in the fraudulent transfer of those funds to IES bank accounts under his control.
To conceal the fraudulent transactions, Charles allegedly gained unauthorized online access to investors' accounts and stopped their receipt of account statements that could have alerted investors to his misconduct.
In other cases, Charles allegedly used fraudulent account statements to lead investors to believe that their monies were safely invested in genuine investment products or IES promissory notes. Investors who contacted Charles about delays in the repayment of their monies were allegedly given various excuses, such as that their funds had been frozen pursuant to a New York regulatory investigation of the brokerage firm that held the accounts.