Securities News Releases
Monday, August 06, 2012
Contact: Communications, (573) 526-0949
Carnahan takes action against man who allegedly scammed Sedalia senior citizen
Jefferson City, MO - Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan today announced an enforcement action against Richard Craig Stitt of Michigan concerning his sale of unregistered securities to an elderly Missouri resident.
According to the cease and desist order issued by officials in Carnahan’s Securities Division, Stitt befriended an elderly Pettis County woman in 2007 and recommended she purchase stock in Stitt’s company, Liberty Technologies Inc. The order states that over the course of almost two years, Stitt convinced the now 76-year-old Missouri resident to make at least 13 investments in Liberty, totaling over $44,000. According to the order, though Stitt promised her a dividend of 10 percent annually, she has not received any investment returns.
The order alleges that after the elderly woman invested, Stitt lived in her home for approximately four months and after moving out, continued to stay in a van parked in her driveway while requesting money for gas on multiple occasions. The order further alleges that after the Missouri resident informed Stitt she could not invest any further, Stitt did not visit or call as frequently.
“It’s unacceptable to take advantage of the trusting nature of seniors in Missouri by stealing their accumulated savings, retirement funds and hard earned money,” Carnahan said. “The Securities Division works hard to spot and stop individuals preying on our elderly.”
The order states that Stitt failed to disclose to the Missouri investor, among other things, that neither he nor the investments themselves were registered in Missouri, that Stitt still owed money to investors in another company he operated;, that Stitt and Liberty owed over $17,000 in outstanding debts; and that Liberty’s corporate status in Missouri was administratively dissolved in 2009.
Stitt faces penalties and costs in excess of $45,000, including enhanced penalties for securities fraud involving an elderly investor, and the possibility of paying restitution to the harmed investor. Stitt has 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.MissouriInvestorProtection.gov or call the toll-free Investor Protection Hotline at 800-721-7996.
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To find out more about Missouri’s secretary of state’s office, visit www.sos.mo.gov.