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For Immediate Release
April 19, 2005
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

CURRAN ORDERS HALT TO ARIZONA-BASED ATM INVESTMENT SCHEME


Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that the Securities Division of his office has issued a Summary Order to Cease and Desist against M.A.C. Investments, Inc. and M.A.C. Investment Sales Inc., their President and CEO Kevin Polardi, Vice President Maricruz Alvarado, and the following individuals who acted as MAC sales agents: Jim Roberts, Edward Sommer, Jenna Brown, and Frank Blasseti, all operating out of Arizona. They have been ordered to cease and desist violating Maryland’s securities laws by operating a fraudulent investment scheme involving millions of dollars. "Ordering these persons to cease any operations in Maryland, until a hearing can be held in this matter, will prevent the unlawful solicitation of investors and the loss of their money," Curran stated. "It also may lead to the return of some funds to investors."

The Securities Division’s investigation revealed that MAC operated an unregistered and fraudulent automated teller machine ("ATM") investment program. Using the Internet, radio and newspaper ads to solicit calls, MAC and its agents purported to sell investors ATMs and interests in the fees generated by the machines. MAC raised some $800,000 from at least 40 Maryland investors who thought they were investing in "cashless ATMs." Nationwide, the fraudulent sales involve hundreds of victims and nearly ten million dollars. In the process of these investment sales, MAC and its officers and agents failed to disclose to investors that they would not actually be investing in ATMs, and that the monthly checks they were paid did not come from income derived from the ATMs. Neither the company, its investments, nor its promoters were registered with the Securities Division as required by Maryland law.

Curran says his Securities Division brought the action not only to halt the registration violations, but also because the MAC investment program has the indications of a "ponzi scheme"; there was no business or investment to generate the profits promised to investors, and no ATMs have been located. Instead, it appears that the money invested was used to repay previous investors, and so on. "We will continue to work with Arizona and other government agencies to look for assets, as well as other investors, in an attempt to return any investors’ money that may be found," Curran explained. "Money was not used to generate income with which to repay the investors. This case emphasizes the need to verify with the Securities Division – before you invest – that any investment opportunity is registered and has no complaints against it."

Curran reminded investors that they can contact the Securities Division of his office at 410-576-6494 if they have questions concerning the status of investment promoters or the securities in which they plan to invest.

   

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