FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Contact: Kevin Flannery, (573) 526-0949
Kander Halts Florida Man's Securities Scam
Jefferson City, Mo. — Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander has halted Florida resident Jeffrey James Mejia’s improper actions that cost Missouri and Kansas residents more than $154,000.
Mejia allegedly came to meet the victims through so-called "free meal" seminars he hosted, where he represented himself as an "independent" investment adviser/stock trader. At these meetings, Meija also allegedly failed to inform investors he was not a registered investment adviser or broker-dealer.
"When opening any investment account, especially through an online broker, Missourians should be sure they are only taking advice from a registered investment professional," Kander said. "I encourage all Missourians to call my office before investing their hard-earned savings with any individual or company."
According to the order, Mejia misled a Sedalia couple into investing $82,000 and $25,000 into two online trading accounts he had opened in their names. From November 2009 through September 2012, at least 26 transactions occurred in the accounts involving trading in foreign, volatile, speculative and penny stock companies, leaving a balance of just under $13,000 in one account and $6,500 in the other. The couple neither directed nor authorized any of the sales at any time.
Kander’s office further alleged that Mejia took unauthorized margin loans and other inappropriate action in the accounts of four additional Missouri and Kansas residents he misled into opening online accounts. Moreover, Meija advised his clients to refrain from informing the online brokerage firm that he was managing their funds, according to the order.
The cease and desist order requires Mejia to stop operating as an investment adviser and as a broker-dealer in the state of Missouri. The order finds that Mejia needed to be registered as an investment adviser in order to provide investment advice for compensation or choose which securities a client should purchase or trade. Further, Mejia needed to be registered as a broker-dealer because making trades in client accounts requires broker-dealer registration.
Any Missourians who had dealings with Mejia are encouraged to contact Kander’s office as soon as possible at 1-800-721-7996.
Visit www.sos.mo.gov to learn more about the Office of the Missouri Secretary of State.
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