FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 07, 2011
Contact: Laura Egerdal, (573) 526-0949
Carnahan Halts Branson Real Estate Investment Scheme
Jefferson City, Missouri - Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan today announced that Darin Hustead and his Freedom Ridge Partners, LLC, of Branson West, Mo., have been ordered to stop conducting business after allegedly selling unregistered securities to elderly investors and using the money to provide loans to Hustead and his family.
According to a Cease and Desist Order issued by officials in Carnahan’s Securities Division, Hustead sold investments in Branson real estate developments to at least two elderly Kansas City, Mo., residents. In return for their $200,000 investment, those residents were allegedly promised repayment of their principal in addition to 35 percent of the profits earned from the sale of properties. Instead, Hustead allegedly funneled the investment dollars to loans for Hustead and his family, to another entity Hustead controlled, and to Hustead’s creditors.
“I have no tolerance for scam artists that wipe out years of hard-earned savings with hollow promises of big returns,” Carnahan said. “I encourage anyone considering an investment to call the toll-free Missouri Investor Protection Hotline to make sure a broker is registered before handing over any money.”
At the time Hustead sold these securities, he was not registered to transact business as a broker, and the securities were not registered. According to Missouri law, agents must either be registered in the states where they solicit the sale of securities, or be exempt from registration. Hustead and Freedom Ridge are also charged with failing to make necessary disclosures about the Branson venture to the investors.
Hustead and Freedom Ridge face up to $25,000 in penalties and costs and the possibility of paying restitution to harmed investors. Both have 30 days to request a hearing and contest this matter.
For more information regarding investments and fraud protection, or for information regarding a company or representative, visit the Secretary of State’s online Investor Protection Center at www.MissouriSafeSavings.com or call the toll free Investor Protection Hotline at 1-800-721-7996.
Visit www.sos.mo.gov to find out more about the Missouri Secretary of State's office.
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