FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 24, 2010
Contact: Laura Egerdal, (573) 526-0949
Contact: Abe Rakov, (573) 526-4734
Carnahan Exposes Scam Artist who took $3.5 Million from Kansas City-Area Investors
Jefferson City, MO – Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan today announced a Cease & Desist Order against Ronald W. Shepard of Lake Ozark and Lee's Summit for allegedly taking more than $3.5 million from at least 40 Missouri investors, most in the Kansas City metropolitan area.
“I have no tolerance for scam artists that wipe out years of hard-earned savings with hollow promises of big returns,” Carnahan said. “I encourage anyone considering an investment to call the toll-free Missouri Investor Protection Hotline. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Beginning in 2006, Shepard allegedly convinced Missouri residents to invest in numerous companies he controlled, telling them that the money would be used to develop real estate and to market and produce a safety trailer hitch for which Shepard was seeking a patent. Shepard allegedly promised investors returns of between 10% and 100%, and in some instances a share in future profits.
According to the order, however, Shepard used most of the investor funds for personal expenses, such as automobiles, jewelry and furs, and in distributions to other investors as part of a Ponzi scheme. Shepard is charged with securities fraud based on his misstatements and omissions in connections with his offer and sale of unregistered securities.
Prior to this action, Shepard was the subject of a 2004 order that found he fraudulently sold unregistered promissory notes. In 2009, Shepard pleaded guilty to two federal criminal charges in connection with student loan fraud and filing false tax returns, and is currently on probation.
Shepard, who has residences in Lee's Summit and Lake Ozark, face tens of thousands of dollars in possible penalties and costs. He has thirty days to request a hearing on the order's allegations.
For more information regarding investments and fraud protection, or for information regarding a company or representative, call the toll free Investor Protection Hotline at 1-800-721-7996 or visit the Secretary of State’s online Investor Protection Center at www.MissouriSafeSavings.com.
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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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