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For Immediate Release
August 28, 2002
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357

CURRAN'S SECURITIES DIVISION CRACKS DOWN ON
INVESTMENT FRAUD SCHEME, RETURNS INVESTORS' MONEY

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that his office's Securities Division obtained a permanent injunction against Flowers Financial Group, Inc., an investment adviser located in Carroll County, its president Thomas M. Flowers, and various affiliated entities. Among other securities violations, the defendants were charged with offering and selling unregistered securities and providing investment advice by use of a fraudulent scheme. Flowers formed several hedge funds and solicited millions of dollars from investors by use of grossly inflated, unsubstantiated performance figures.

The injunction order, issued by Circuit Court Judge Michael M. Galloway with the consent of the parties, permanently bars Thomas Flowers, Flowers Financial Group, Inc., and various entities owned and/or controlled by Thomas Flowers, from the investment advisory and securities business. The order also directs Thomas Flowers to make restitution to investors in the amount of $160,000. The defendants consented to the order without admitting or denying violations of the Securities Act.

"This case demonstrates that the Securities Division will pursue aggressively those investment advisers who defraud Marylanders," said Attorney General Curran. "By placing the companies into receivership, we were able to initiate an independent accounting of the remaining investment funds, preserve the assets for investors, and distribute an average of over 75 percent of principal to investors."

Curran reminded investors to call the Securities Division at 410-576-6360 before they invest to find out whether their investment adviser, broker and securities are registered, or whether there have been any complaints filed against them. Even when an investment program looks reasonable, and friends and family trust the promoter, it's better to take a few minutes to verify the status of the promoters or securities offerings.

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