Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler's Securities Division Orders Unregistered Securities Firm to Cease and Desist
Investors allegedly lose nearly $500,000
Investors urged to contact OAG Securities Division
MD ( Oct. 12, 2011) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that his Securities Division has issued a Summary Order to Cease and Desist and Order to Show Cause against a Baltimore City man, Casey Charles, and his company, Infinite Equity Strategies, LLC (“IES”). The Division alleges that Charles and IES are violating Maryland securities laws by selling unregistered securities, acting as an unregistered investment adviser and issuer agent, and engaging in fraud in connection with their securities and investment advisory practices. Investor losses alleged in the order total almost $500,000.
“We took this action to immediately protect Maryland investors against further losses,” said Attorney General Gansler. “Mr. Charles and IES are ordered to halt the sale of fraudulent investments, including the IES promissory notes.”
The Securities Division is seeking sanctions against Charles and his company, including fines and a permanent bar from the securities and investment advisory business in Maryland.
According to the Order, Charles misappropriated investors' monies through an illegal scheme that involved the sale of fraudulent IES promissory notes, as well as the unauthorized transfer of investor assets to accounts under Charles' control. With some investors, Charles arranged for the transfer of their retirement funds to an Ohio trust company, whereupon, the Securities Division alleges, he fraudulently transferred those funds to IES bank accounts under his control.
To conceal the fraudulent transactions, Charles in some cases gained unauthorized online access to investors' accounts and stopped their receipt of account statements that could have alerted investors to his misconduct. With other investors, Charles used fraudulent account statements to lead them to believe that their monies were safely invested in genuine investment products or IES promissory notes. Investors who contacted Charles about delays in the repayment of their monies were given various excuses, including that their funds had been frozen pursuant to a New York regulatory investigation of the brokerage firm that held the accounts.
The Attorney General encourages anyone who invested monies with Casey Charles or Infinite Equity Strategies to contact the Securities Division at 410-576-7649. Investors are strongly encouraged to call the Securities Division at 410-576-7048 before they invest or entrust their monies to a financial adviser to verify that the product and individual are appropriately registered, and to inquire about the adviser's disciplinary history.
Attorney General Gansler would like to thank Assistant Attorney General Julie BelClaire and Frank Barlow, Financial Fraud Examiner, for their work on the case.
A copy of the Securities Division's Summary Order to Cease and Desist and Order to Show Cause can be found at: is http://www.oag.state.md.us/Securities/Actions/index.htm