FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 14, 2005
Contact: Mary Hosmer, (573) 751-4704
Carnahan Issues Order Against ATM Company and Manchester Man
Jefferson City, Missouri -- Robin Carnahan's Office issued an order today against Stephen Durfee and ATM Profit Centers, LLC of Manchester, Missouri, for offering unregistered securities in Missouri. Durfee was ordered, among other things, to immediately remove a website soliciting investors in ATM Profit Centers.
Durfee's website offers investors a "passive investment" in an ATM Scrip Machine that purports to pay a 41% return on the investment every year. When contacted by the Securities Division, Durfee stated that he had been involved in a similar offering in Texas that was "shut down" for conducting a "Ponzi Scheme" and violating Texas securities laws. Durfee's prior involvement in the Texas "Ponzi Scheme" was not disclosed on the website.
When investors are asked to invest in an enterprise with the expectation of profits to be derived from the efforts of another person, the offering may constitute a security. Securities and the agents offering them must be registered with the State. Neither Durfee nor the investment is registered in Missouri. These facts are also not disclosed on the website.
Carnahan, Missouri's top securities enforcer, said, "It is important for investors to ask questions of the promoter before investing their money. In addition, they should call the Secretary of State's Investor Hotline at 1-800-721-7996. One phone call could help prevent the loss of your hard-earned savings."
Investors can also log on to the Secretary of State's Web page at www.sos.mo.gov and get these securities related materials:
Filing a Complaint
Provides information regarding the responsibilities of the Securities Division, assistance with filing a complaint as well as providing information for pursuing remedy through arbitration.
Information regarding ten common investment tips and the top 10 investment scams.
Tips on Investing in Variable Annuities
Tips and questions to consider before investing in variable annuities.
A Senior's Guide to Avoiding Investment Fraud
A 10-step self-defense document to help Older Americans protect themselves against investment fraud.
Senior Investors Bulletin
Guide for older citizens who wish to invest. It provides questions that one should ask about the investment process.
Booklet defines penny stocks and explains the intricacies of the over-the-counter market in which they are bought and sold.
Your Securities Account
Booklet describes how to establish a securities account, conduct securities transactions and what recourse is available to consumers if a discrepancy occurs in their account.
How to Read a Prospectus
Booklet provides both a general overview of the content of a prospectus and explains some of the more important information contained in a prospectus.
How to Choose a Stockbroker
Booklet offers the consumer information on how to select a stockbroker, and outlines the information your broker needs to know in order to make appropriate investment decisions that are suitable to your financial needs.
10 Tips for Online Investors
Pamphlet provides information about trading with online brokerage accounts.
How to Check Out Your Stockbroker or Brokerage Firm
Pamphlet describes how to check the licensing and disciplinary history of your stockbroker and/or brokerage firm.
When a Broker Calls, Take Notes
This note pad provides a list of important questions to ask before you invest.
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