FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Contact: Laura Egerdal, (573) 526-0949
New York Brokers Face Penalties for Unsolicited Calls
Unregistered brokers tried to sell investments to staff in Carnahanís Securities Division
Jefferson City, Missouri Ė Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan today announced that two New York stock brokers could face thousands of dollars in fines after repeatedly cold-calling a staff member of Carnahan's Securities Division to solicit investments. Neither of the brokers are registered to offer securities in the State of Missouri, which is required by law.
According to the Cease and Desist order, the brokers work in a New York branch office of California-based Financial Network Investment Corporation ("FNIC"). In August 2010, FNIC agent Oleksiy Stetsura allegedly cold-called a Securities Division staff memberís work telephone in the James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center. When the staff member pressed for information about Stetsura and the firm he worked for, Stetsura hung up the phone.
In November 2010, FNIC agent Derek Robertson allegedly cold-called the same staff member at the Secretary of State's Office. During that call, Robertson allegedly offered securities, attempted to transact a purchase over the phone, and offered to be the staff memberís personal broker.
"Missourians should take extreme caution when considering investment opportunities promoted through unsolicited telephone calls," Carnahan said. "Before you hand over your savings, I strongly encourage anyone considering a new investment to call the toll-free Missouri Investor Protection Hotline to make sure it is properly registered."
Stetsura and Robertson are registered in New York as agents of FNIC, but neither agent was registered in Missouri. Agents must either be registered in the states where they solicit the sale of securities, or be exempt from registration. Stetsura and Robertson are also charged with failing to disclose material facts during their solicitations, including that they were not registered nor were they exempt from registration in Missouri, and that the agents were violating their broker-dealer's policies and procedures by offering securities in States where they were not registered. FNIC is charged with employing unregistered agents.
In the Order issued today, Financial Network Investment Corporation, Stetsura, and Robertson could be fined more than thirty thousand dollars for these violations and could be ordered to pay the costs of the Securities Division's investigation. The Division's investigation into FNIC's possible failure to reasonably supervise it agents in ongoing.
For more information regarding investments and fraud protection, or for information regarding a company or representative, call the toll free Investor Protection Hotline at 1-800-721-7996 or visit the Secretary of State's online Investor Protection Center at www.MissouriSafeSavings.com.
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To find out more about Missouri's Secretary of State's office, visit www.sos.mo.gov
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