FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Contact: Laura Egerdal, (573) 526-0949
Contact: Ryan Hobart, (573) 526-4734
Carnahan Takes Action against Broker Suspected of Preying on Multiple Seniors
Jefferson City, MO - Officials in Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s office issued a Cease and Desist Order today against Saint Peters broker Mark McEwen, formerly employed by World Group Securities Inc. McEwen allegedly engaged in dishonest and unethical activities and made unsuitable recommendations to clients, while also failing to disclose required information.
According to today’s order, McEwen often urged individuals to “free up cash” or retirement savings by refinancing their fixed-rate mortgages and stopping contributions to 401k plans. McEwen often advised investors to use those savings to purchase money market funds and variable universal life policies through World Group and affiliated companies.
It is also thought that, as a result, some of McEwen’s investors are facing home foreclosure or had to spend additional funds to refinance their mortgages. The order quotes one Missouri investor as saying McEwen’s recommendations “could not have been more destructive” to their financial situation.
“It is outrageous for someone to so blatantly prey on senior investors in this way,” said Carnahan. “This case is an example of why Missourians, especially seniors, need to be very careful about who they entrust to handle their money.”
McEwen is also alleged to have borrowed over $130,000 from an 83-year-old Illinois resident, in violation of Missouri law and World Group’s policies and procedures. McEwen has not paid any of these funds back to the Illinois resident.
McEwen is even accused of taking over thirty thousand dollars in restitution from a 75-year-old Missouri resident. The restitution came from a World Group Consent Order issued in 2006. McEwen allegedly told the Missouri resident that her restitution was a mistake and that it was actually his commission.
In addition to the cease and desist order and possible penalties and costs, the Commissioner of Securities has initiated a separate proceeding to revoke McEwen’s securities registration.
For more information regarding investments and fraud protection or for information regarding a company or representative, visit the Secretary of State's online Missouri Investor Protection Center at www.MissouriSafeSavings.com or call the toll free Investor Protection Hotline at 1-800-721-1996.
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To find out more about Missouri’s Secretary of State’s office, visit www.sos.mo.gov
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