CURRAN MOVES TO SHUT DOWN CHURCH-BASED INVESTMENT PROGRAM
Baltimore - Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that his officeís Securities Division has issued a Summary Order to Cease and Desist against a Prince Georgeís County company and its two founders. The Summary Order charges Financial Warfare, Inc., Teresa Y. Hodge and Marcus D. Dukes with soliciting investments through meetings at African-American churches and through the internet.
According to the Summary Order, Financial Warfare solicits church members with the stated purpose of building capital for the community through investments in companies that it has formed. Financial Warfare describes its mission as bridging the financial divide and creating financial wealth by providing financial literacy and access to the capital marketplace, while promising "opportunities not available to smaller investors." The company holds meetings at the Victorious Church of Jesus Christ in Camp Springs, Maryland, and other churches around the country, and also promotes its investment program through a web site.
Financial Warfare offers several membership levels, ranging from founding members at a cost of $2,550, to associate members at a cost of $100. Each membership level offers enrollment in one or more financial literacy courses, newsletters, reports and participation in future mutual fund products. A membership contribution of $550 or more allegedly gives the members stock in each of the "infrastructure companies" -- GlobalCom InterNetworks, Inc., Solutions International, Inc., and GeNex, Inc. According to Order, Financial Warfare has never offered the financial literacy courses that it promises although it informs investors that they must take the course before they can receive the distribution of shares in the infrastructure companies. Investors have yet to receive any shares.
Curranís Securities Division alleges that Financial Warfare has violated Marylandís securities laws by offering and selling unregistered investments, by acting as an unregistered securities broker and investment adviser, and by failing to disclose material information.
"We had to bring a case quickly to stop Financial Warfare from continuing to solicit investor funds," said Attorney General Curran. "We are very concerned that Financial Warfare is making misleading representations to potential investors." Curran emphasized that the Securities Divisionís investigation of this matter is continuing and urges anyone who invested funds with Financial Warfare and the related companies, or who has information concerning that investment program, to call the Securities Division of his office at 410-576-6347. Curran reminded investors to call the Securities Division before they invest to find out whether their investment adviser, broker and securities are registered. Even when an investment program looks reasonable, and friends and family trust the promoter, itís better to take a few minutes to verify the status of the promoters.