FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Apr 6 2015
Contact: Stephanie Fleming, (573) 526-0949
Kander Halts London-Based Investment Scheme
Jefferson City, Mo. — Secretary of State Jason Kander today announced a cease and desist order has been issued against London, England-based SpotFN.com and Spot FN LLC ("Spot"), as well as the CEO of Spot, James Kingsley, and affiliated New York companies Binary Holdings and Binary Academics ("BIN"). The order alleges that Spot, BIN and Kingsley used email, a sophisticated website and telemarketers to solicit potential investors for an opportunity that "guaranteed profit" by purchasing and selling "binary options," which are bets on whether an event will happen at a specific time.
According to the order, at least four Missouri investors lost a combined $82,742 in the scheme after being approached with the investment opportunity through email. An investigation by Kander’s office revealed prospective investors were told to send their investment funds through a website via their credit card, and their funds would be invested either by a "robot trader" or an "executive trader," with a higher fee. In some instances, investor credit cards were charged without the investor’s knowledge or authorization.
"Email and online-based investment opportunities such as this are a common practice by scammers to lure investors," Kander said. "If you or someone you know was approached via email with an investment opportunity—especially by a foreign-based company—contact my office before turning over your hard-earned money."
The order alleges Spot’s website claims to be "100 percent safe and secure," offers "up to 88 percent returns," includes an "up to $5,000 reward bonus" and conducts trades by "real market professionals." However, SpotFN.com, Spot FN LLC, Binary Holdings, Binary Academics, and Kingsley are not registered to offer investment advice or act as broker-dealers in the state of Missouri.
Kander’s investigation uncovered that at least four Missouri residents had lost money through Spot and/or BIN after investing through the website platform. In many instances, the Missouri investors were repeatedly solicited to invest more money even after requesting refunds or asking for a return of their investments. Some investors were partially refunded, but in at least one instance, an investor was told his money had been stolen by former employees and could only be retrieved by paying a service fee and taxes to the companies’ supposed insurance company, Allianz Tiriac, located in Romania. Further, investors were falsely told that Spot was exempt from registration with securities regulators because it was located outside the United States.
For more information, visit www.MissouriSafeSavings.com or call the Investor Protection Hotline (800) -721-7996.
Visit www.sos.mo.gov to learn more about the Office of the Missouri Secretary of State.