FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct 19 2011
Contact: Laura Egerdal, (573) 526-0949
Carnahan Takes Action Against Springfield Man Who Misused $200,000 in Elderly Missourians’ Savings
According to the cease and desist order issued by officials in Carnahan’s Securities Division, Guillen provided some investors with promissory notes that assured investors they would receive a quick return, with an interest rate between 6 percent and 10 percent. All investor funds allegedly were transferred to personal bank accounts for Guillen and/or Cherie Michelle Lee, a Springfield resident also named in the order, or to on-line trading accounts in their names.
“Unfortunately my office continues to see cases where elderly Missourians are targeted by fraudsters. I pushed for the Senior Investor Protection Act in 2009 to create some of the toughest laws in the country to increase penalties for financial fraud committed against seniors and to make it easier to collect restitution,” Carnahan said. “Before investing any of their savings, Missourians should call our Investor Protection Hotline at 800-721-7996 to make sure the investment and the person offering the investment are registered with our office.”
According to the order issued yesterday, Guillen raised more than $200,000 from four Missouri investors, ranging in age from 69–78 years old, so that he could act as a “financial adviser” and trade on their behalf in the foreign currency exchange markets. Guillen not only promoted his foreign currency exchange trading acumen, but allegedly also told some investors that their funds were going to be invested in a bank. Guillen used investor funds to trade on-line in the Forex market in either his or Lee’s accounts, and Guillen also allegedly used portions of these investments for his personal use.
Guillen allegedly lost all investor funds through this currency trading and allegedly has not returned any funds to any investor nor has he paid any of the promised interest to the investors. The order also states that Guillen told investigators with the Securities Division that he had a gambling addiction and lost the elderly investors’ money by trading in the foreign exchange market. Guillen has never been registered as a broker-dealer agent or as an investment adviser representative in the State of Missouri.
The cease and desist order charges that Guillen sold unregistered securities and committed securities fraud by failing to disclose material information to investors, providing untrue information to investors, and misleading investors as to how their funds would be spent. Lee allegedly assisted Guillen’s activities by allowing Guillen to use Lee’s bank account and currency trading account, knowing that Guillen wanted to conceal these accounts from previous investors. Guillen and Lee face up to $80,000 in penalties and costs and the possibility of being ordered to pay more than $200,000 in restitution to harmed investors. Guillen and Lee have 30 days to request a hearing and contest this matter.
The Securities Division is cooperating in this matter with other law enforcement and government agencies. 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