FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Contact: Laura Egerdal, (573) 526-0949
Carnahan Takes Action Against St. Louis Broker who Allegedly Forged Documents to Steal from Clients
Jefferson City, MO – Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan today announced an enforcement action against Joshua Gould, a former securities broker at Woodbury Financial Services of St. Louis, who allegedly forged documents in order to take his clients’ money for personal use.
According to the Cease and Desist Order, Gould misappropriated client funds during his time at Woodbury by using pre-signed distribution forms and forging documents to make unauthorized withdrawals to transfer the funds of Woodbury clients to Gould’s outside business activities. Gould also allegedly used client funds for personal use, as collateral for a line of credit, and to pay off clients whose funds he previously took without authorization.
“Whether you’ve just met your broker or have known him or her for years, you should always call our Investor Protection Hotline before handing over any of your savings to make sure both the broker and investments being offered are registered,” Carnahan said. “And if you see any unusual activity in your accounts, ask your broker about it immediately. Acting quickly will help you make sure your savings are secure.”
Gould also allegedly sold unregistered securities in private business enterprises, which he touted as “unconventional” investments that would bring an “increased rate of return” for investors. In order to conceal his unauthorized activities, Gould allegedly fabricated statements for clients indicating that they were invested in securities that didn’t actually exist.
Gould faces up to $25,000 in penalties and costs and the possibility of paying more than $4 million in restitution to harmed investors. Gould has 30 days to request a hearing and contest this matter. The enforcement attorneys in Carnahan’s Securities Division are working with Federal agencies on matters related to this Cease and Desist Order.
Woodbury was not named in the subject order.
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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