FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Contact: Stacie Temple, (573) 526-5076
Contact: Mike Seitz, (573) 526-0949
Carnahan Orders Branson Couple to Stop Selling Unregistered Investments in Country Music Shows
Jefferson City, Missouri -- Secretary of State Robin Carnahan's Commissioner of Securities Matt Kitzi issued a Cease and Desist Order on Monday against Larry and Gwendolyn King of Branson, and their companies: King's Country Music Show, King's Country Show and Lit'l Nashville Opry.
The order alleges the Kings offered and sold unregistered securities in Missouri and persuaded at least 25 individuals to invest approximately $160,000 in their country music shows between 2000 and 2005.
The order also states that by making their investment pitches to audience members during and after their shows, the Kings convinced Missouri residents, as well as vacationers from other states, to make investments ranging from $1,000 to $60,000 in the Branson country music shows.
According to the Securities Division, some of the investors were told they would receive shares of stock in the business or that their money would be taken as a loan and they would be paid a percentage of the show's profits at the year's end.
Although the Kings allegedly claimed their businesses were or would be incorporated, the Missouri Corporations Division, also a division of Carnahan's office, confirmed that no such registration was filed for any of the King's current or former businesses.
To date, it appears that none of the investors have received stock certificates or a return on their investment. The order also states that the Kings used some of the funds for personal expenses rather than business-related activities as promised.
"Most people don't expect to fall prey to an investment scheme when they're on vacation, but unfortunately, it can happen," said Carnahan. "The best way for investors to protect themselves, whether they are Missourians or vacationers, is to verify that any firm or individual they invest with is registered with the Securities Division," she added.
Neither the Kings nor the investment products they offered were registered with the Missouri Securities Division or exempt from such registration.
For more information regarding investments and fraud protection, or for information regarding a company or representative, visit the Secretary of State's Web site at http://www.sos.mo.gov/securities/ or call the toll free investor hotline at 1-800-721-7996.
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