Securities News Releases
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Contact: Laura Egerdal, (573) 526-0949
Carnahan Secures $60,000 from New York Firm for St. Louis Investors caught in Ponzi Scheme
Jefferson City, Missouri – Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan today announced that AXA Advisors, LLC, of New York, will return more than $60,000 to three St. Louis-area investors who lost money in a Ponzi scheme set up by a former AXA agent, Kenneth Neely.
According to the consent order, Neely raised money from more than 25 investors through his phony “St. Louis Investment Club.” While most of the investors were solicited while Neely was with his previous firm, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, three invested while Neely was an agent of AXA. He provided investors with fictitious “certificates” and other financial documents, but deposited the funds into his personal bank account. AXA terminated Neely in July 2009, and reported his fraudulent activity to Carnahan's Securities Division.
“I'm pleased that AXA is taking care of its Missouri clients who were harmed by this scheme,” Carnahan said. “There is no place in our state for Neely's fraudlent and dishonest behavior, and AXA's cooporation with my office helped to ensure his Ponzi scheme was finally put to an end.”
Neely was subject to a final cease and desist order issued on February 17, 2010, which is available online. Neely is currently serving a 3-year federal prison sentence handed down last spring.
In addition to restitution, AXA is required to pay $28,500 to the Missouri Investor Education and Protection Fund, including $3,500 for the costs of the Securities Division's investigation. Further, AXA has agreed to enhance its policies and procedures and to continue its cooperation with the Securities Division in this matter. The Securities Division's investigation into the losses of the other St. Louis-area investors is ongoing.
For more information regarding investments and fraud protection, or for information regarding a company or representative, visit the Secretary of State's online Investor Protection Center at www.MissouriSafeSavings.com or call the toll free Investor Protection Hotline at 1-800-721-7996.
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To find out more about Missouri's Secretary of State's office, visit www.sos.mo.gov