FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Contact: Carrie Bebermeyer, (573) 526-0949
Contact: Ryan Hobart, (573)526-0949
Carnahan Reminds Investors: There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch
Jefferson City, Missouri - Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahanís Commissioner of Securities, Matt Kitzi issued two orders today addressing abuses surrounding "free lunch" investment seminars.
Commissioner Kitzi issued a Cease and Desist Order against Michael Glenn Grimes of St. Louis, and entered into a Consent Order with his employer, Barrington Capital Management of Barrington, IL.
According to the orders, Grimes conducted seminars in St. Louis while employed by Barrington Capital Management. An undercover investigator from the Missouri Securities Division attended a seminar targeting retirement age investors entitled "More Money, Less Taxes." The investigator subsequently met with Grimes privately to discuss her individual situation.
At the private meeting following the seminar, Grimes allegedly provided financial advice, despite being prohibited in 2005 from offering investment advice in the state of Missouri because of prior abuses dating from 1998.
"Missourians should be cautious if they receive unsolicited offers of a 'free lunch' or 'free dinner' for attending an investment seminar," explained Carnahan. "After watching presentations at these seminars, attendees are often invited to attend private sessions where they sometimes get misleading investment advice."
The Order entered against Grimes not only alleges that he acted as an investment adviser without being properly registered, but also that the advice he offered was unsuitable.
Grimes' case will be referred for criminal contempt charges based on his alleged violation of past Consent Orders. Grimes' employer, Barrington Capital, agreed in a separate Consent Order to sever all ties with Grimes and pay $10,000 to the state's Investor Education Fund. The company also agreed to pay $4,000 of the Securities Division's investigative costs.
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 www.sos.mo.gov/securities or call the toll free investor hotline at 1-800-721-7996.
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