FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 07, 2010
Contact: Laura Egerdal, (573) 526-0949
Contact: Abe Rakov, (573) 526-4734
Carnahan Uncovers Fraud in Farmington
Troubled Firm Owes Investors more than $1 Million
Jefferson City, MO – Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan today announced Farmington Investment Corporation (FIC) and its former owner, Thomas Terry, have been charged with securities fraud for selling unregistered investments and misusing the savings of dozens of Missourians. According to the cease and desist order, the company currently owes more than $1 million to at least 42 investors.
Terry, who was owner and president of FIC from 2002 to 2008, allegedly raised money by promising investors annual returns of up to 8 percent. Neither Terry nor FIC were registered to sell investments in Missouri, as required by law.
According to the order, FIC investment funds were lent to consumers for automobiles, ATVs, and musical instruments at interest rates as high as 26 percent. Additionally, Terry used more than $200,000 of investors’ money to start other businesses, including two payday loan operations, Mr. Cash and Dough to Go, and a fitness center, Bull’s Custom Fitness.
“There is no place in this state for bait-and-switch scams or shady businesses that misuse an investor’s hard-earned savings,” Carnahan said. “Any investor considering a new offer or investment should call our Investor Protection Hotline to make sure it is legitimate.”
Multiple investors contacted Carnahan’s office to report they could not access their savings as promised. A 63 year-old investor from Park Hills, Mo., told Carnahan’s office that he gave Terry $10,000 in September 2008. When the investor attempted to withdraw his money in January 2009, he was told that FIC “was not able to pay out any money.”
An 82 year-old Farmington, Mo., widow told investigators that because she could not redeem a long-held certificate from Farmington Investment Corporation, she was force to sell her home and borrow money from her son to pay her bills.
In a statement given to Carnahan’s Office, Terry stated that “there’s never been a point in the history of (Farmington Investment Corporation) that (it) had the money to pay the total amount it owed.”
Terry and FIC have 30 days to respond to the order and request a hearing.
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.
-- 30 --
« view more News Releases