FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec 4 2007
Contact: Ryan Hobart; Mindy Mazur, (573) 526-4734; (573) 522-9756
Carnahan Recovers over $800,000 For Missouri Investors
"Free-Lunch" Seminar Targeted Soon-To-Be Retired
Keen and Walker presented a series of "free-lunch" seminars to individuals who were nearing retirement. During the seminars, they offered free meals and scheduled private sessions with investors where they discussed retirement options and often gave unsuitable investment advice.
Keen and Walker convinced several Missouri residents that they could match or even exceed their current salary by retiring and investing their retirement funds. Some of the Missouri residents who attended these seminars described the presentations as "grandiose" and "flash and dash," saying that Walker and Keen took turns "talking things up." One Missourian even left a seminar with the impression that, "the sky was the limit on what they could make."
Keen and Walker implemented an investment strategy that placed soon-to-be-retired investors money into overly-aggressive investments that resulted in large losses. Because of these losses, some investors who had been retired were forced to return to work.
To avoid further investigation and action by the Securities Division, the two agents each agreed to pay $55,500 to the Missouri Investor Education and Protection Fund. In its separate consent order, UBS agreed to pay just under $700,000 in restitution, payments, penalties and costs.
"Be on guard for so-called financial 'experts' who offer free meals for attending a seminar or workshop, and check them out before you invest your money," said Carnahan. "When it comes to investing your hard-earned savings, there’s no such thing as a free lunch."
Free lunch and dinner offers are among the 2007 Top 10 threats to Missouri investors released by Secretary Carnahan in conjunction with the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).
For more information regarding investments and fraud protection, visit the Secretary of State's website at www.MissouriSafeSavings.com or call the toll free investor hotline at 1-800-721-7996.