FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Contact: Laura Egerdal, (573) 526-0949
Carnahan Returns $850,000 to Investors Caught in Southwest Missouri Investment Scheme
Jefferson City, MO – Secretary of State Robin Carnahan today announced an agreement with two Southwest Missouri men to return more than $850,000 to investors who were sold unregistered securities with promises of annual returns of more than 50 percent.
According to the consent order, the father and son team of Morris Allen Bird, Sr. and Morris Allen Bird, Jr., sold investors, including a Lockwood, Mo., couple in their eighties and a 93-year-old Missouri resident, promissory notes and other investments by promoting annual returns of up to 54 percent.
The father, Bird, Sr., raised the money in 2008 from investors in Missouri, Arkansas, Indiana and Oklahoma through two companies organized by the Bird family, Chaparral I, LLC, and Turnpoint International I, LLC. The money was used to pay individuals at the direction of his son. Bird, Sr., told the Missouri Securities Division’s Enforcement Section that not all investors received actual promissory notes, that he did not tell investors how the money would be used, and that he never gave investors financial background information on the companies.
“Southwest Missouri has unfortunately seen more than its share of investment schemes in recent years,” Carnahan said. “Before turning over their hard-earned savings, Missourians should call my Investor Protection Hotline to make sure their brokers and investments are registered with my office.”
The Birds violated Missouri securities laws by selling unregistered securities and were ordered to pay more than $850,000 to the Missouri Investor Restitution Fund in monthly payments over the next several years. Those payments will then be distributed to the nine aggrieved investors. If the Birds fail to comply with the payment plan, all payments become immediately due and more than $85,000 in penalties and costs are triggered.
Turnpoint International I was formerly known as Greenleaf Investments II, LLC. The Birds were involved with other companies and individuals related to recent securities actions, including Greenleaf Investments I, LLC, and Park Estates Homes, LLC. Greenleaf Investments I and Park Estates were organized by Eric Gagnepain and Scott Dasal, respectively, who were also the principals behind Greenleaf Companies, LLC. Park Estates Homes filed for bankruptcy in November 2008. Gagnepain, Dasal and Greenleaf Companies, LLC, were all fined tens of thousands of dollars in an order issued in March 2010 that related to failed Greenleaf real estate investments.
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.
To find out more about Missouri's Secretary of State's office, visit www.sos.mo.gov
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