FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mar 3 2011
Contact: Laura Egerdal, (573) 526-0949
Carnahan Cracks Down On Excelsior Springs Man Who Allegedly Took $150,000 from Investors for Non-Existent Business
According to the cease and desist order issued by officials in Carnahan’s Securities Division, Meredith sold investments in a Scooter’s Coffee House franchise to a Missouri and Kansas resident. Meredith, of Excelsior Springs, allegedly promised the investors that they would receive more than a 100 percent return on their investment in as short as one month. The investors allegedly were not told of any possible risks associated with their investments and were assured their money was safe.
“My office will continue going after people who take advantage of Missourians and take their hard-earned savings,” Carnahan said. “One call to our Investor Protection Hotline can help you make sure anyone trying to sell you securities is properly registered to my office.”
Meredith is charged with telling the investors that the developer of these franchises needed funds to start construction, but the developer’s money was currently tied up. After the investors gave Meredith the funds, he provided them with promissory notes, according to the order. However, Meredith did not inform the investors that he was not registered to sell securities in Missouri, that he had a criminal record, or that he would not use the money to build the Scooter’s Coffee House franchise.
Instead, when the notes came due, Meredith allegedly gave the investors a false sense of security by offering 19 different excuses about why he could not return the funds, including that a Bolivian courier was to deliver the money but suffered a heat stroke and was hospitalized; the funds were in a safe that had been confiscated by the federal government because it also contained information about a past president; and the funds would be hand delivered by an FBI agent.
Meredith, facing up to $20,000 in civil penalties and the possibility of paying $115,000 in restitution to harmed investors, has 30 days to request a hearing in this matter. The Securities Division is collaborating with other law enforcement agencies on this matter.
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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Visit www.sos.mo.gov to learn more about the Missouri Secretary of State's Office.