For immediate release:                  March 16, 2021

Contact:                                          Maura Browning, Communications Director

                                                       (573) 526-0949

Ashcroft’s Securities Division Orders Las Vegas Company to Pay $6.9 Million

Jefferson City, Mo. — Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s Securities Division issued an administrative hearing order against Las Vegas respondents Retire Happy LLC, Julie A. Minuskin, and Joshua P. Stoll, finding that they defrauded 12 Missouri investors from St. Louis, St. Peters, St. Charles, Rolla, Independence, Hillsboro, Gerald, Crane, Chesterfield, Pleasant Hill and Catawissa. Many of the investors were retired senior citizens that lost most, if not all, of their retirement savings.

After a contested evidentiary hearing, Securities Commissioner David M. Minnick found that Retire Happy, Minuskin and Stoll defrauded investors by appealing to the desire for higher performance on their retirement funds through alternative investments. In the first part of the scheme, Minuskin and Stoll influenced and assisted investors to facilitate rollovers of their retirement accounts from well-known, well-established financial institutions where investors’ funds were invested in traditional investments such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds, to a relatively unknown and unconventional custodian that would allow investments in a wider array of products not generally permitted by well-established financial institutions.

Once the rollovers were completed and the investors’ retirement account investments had been liquidated to cash, investors were solicited to reinvest their savings into highly illiquid and highly risky, so-called alternative investments. These were principally unsecured and unregistered promissory notes in fledgling companies. In the end, Missouri investors lost more than $700,000 of their retirement savings in these alternative investments while Minuskin and Stoll pocketed tens of thousands of dollars of investor money through undisclosed commissions and fees.

Following nearly two years of investigations and nearly a year of litigation, the securities commissioner held a hearing in December 2020. Following the administrative hearing, the commissioner found that the respondents offered and sold more than $900,000 in unregistered, non-exempt promissory notes and other securities through telephonic and email solicitations to Missouri investors. Despite promises regarding the potential for large financial returns and assurances their investments would be very profitable, the investors did not receive large returns, and most did not receive any of their money back.

The commissioner ordered Retire Happy LLC, Minuskin and Stoll to pay $6.21 Million in civil penalties, in excess of $700,000 in restitution with interest and more than $52,000 in investigation costs.

“Good people work hard to set aside a nest egg to provide a stable retirement in their later years,” Ashcroft said. “If those savings fall into the hands of the wrong people, the results of all that sacrifice may vanish. Be mindful of professional-looking websites, great-sounding sales pitches and promises of big returns on your investments. Check to make sure the company or individual is registered before investing. If you’re not sure, please call the toll-free investor protection hotline at 800-721-7996 or go online to for more information or to file a complaint.”                     


Visit to learn more about the Office of the Missouri Secretary of State.