Tag Archives: affinity fraud

William Neil “Doc” Gallagher Charged with Operating Ponzi Scheme-Dallas, TX

March 2019-Dallas, TX

Neil ‘Doc” Gallagher, who calls himself the “Money Doctor” on Dallas area radio stations was was charged with operating a Ponzi Scheme by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

According to the SEC Complaint Gallagher and his companies, Gallagher Financial Group and W. Neil Gallagher, raised nearly $20 million from mostly retired Christian investors by making frequent religious references on his radio shows.

The SEC alleges that Gallagher falsely claimed to be a licensed investment adviser who promised investors risk free returns of 5%-8% annually in phony investments he called a Diversified Growth and Income Strategy Account.

Very little of the investor’s money was actually invested but rather used to make payments to other investors to create the impression that he was operating a legitimate business and the rest was spent on his personal expenses.

Gallagher has also been indicted and arrested on criminal charges.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

SEC Files Action Over Verto Notes-Dallas & Plano, Texas

July 2017-Dallas and Plano, Texas

Two Texas firms and three individuals employed by the firms were named in an enforcement proceeding filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over the sale of 7% promissory notes issued by Verto Capital Management LLC.

Named as respondents in the Order Instituting the proceedings, are:

  • Retirement Surety LLC-a Plano-based company, which according to its website is a ‘practicing Christian organization” who provide investment advice for retirement planning. This company has never been registered as a broker dealer.
  • Crescendo Financial LLC-a Plano-based company that brokered the sale of the Verto Notes that also touts itself as being a “practicing Christian organization”.
  • Thomas Rose-a 61 year old resident of Plano, TX, who was a partner of Retirement Surety and Crescendo Financial. Rose does not hold any securities licenses and has never been registered as or associated with a registered securities dealer.
  • David Leeman-a 67 year old resident of Dallas, TX, who is also a partner of Retirement Surety and Crescendo Financial. He purports to be a licensed insurance agent in TX, but has never been registered as or associated with a registered securities dealer.
  • David Featherstone-a 70 year old resident of Dallas, TX. He also purports to be a licensed insurance agent in TX, but has never been registered as or associated with a registered securities dealer.

Other relevant individuals in the order are:

  • WIlliam Schantz III, 62 of Moorestown, New Jersey.
  • Randal Wallis, 63 of Pottsboro, TX.
  • Ronald Howard Wills, 71, of McKinney, TX.

According to the SEC the respondents sold $12.5 million of the Verto Notes  to 82 individual investors and collected commissions of over $650,000 on the sales notwithstanding the fact that none of the respondents was registered as a securities broker. Respondents solicited sales on radio shows broadcast on two Christian networks and by use of the Retirement Surety website where the Verto Notes were touted as being a “Short Term Investment with Superior Returns and Minimal Risk”.

Investors who were referred to respondents by a registered stockbroker may be able to recover damages from the brokerage firm employing that broker. Call for details.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Stephen Hatch-Texas Real Estate Investor Sentenced to Five Years on Ponzi Scheme Targeting Christians

The Arizona Republic reports that Texan Stephen J. Hatch, 68, pleaded guilty to felony fraud and was sentenced to five years for operating a $70 million Ponzi scheme that targeted Christians who were promised double digit returns on real estate investments.

According to the press release, Hatch solicited investments in partnerships named after biblical verses and sent emails containing biblical quotes to his investor victims. Hatch told investors he was already a wealthy man and that he didn’t need the money but rather was trying to help them make money in the name of God.

Rather than use the victim’s money to invest in real estate as represented, Hatch used it for extravagant salaries for his children and friends, an investment in a restaurant, luxury items for himself, including a California ranch.

AFFINITY FRAUD

This type of fraud is known as ‘affinity fraud’Affinity fraud refers to investment scams that prey upon members of identifiable groups, such as religious or ethnic communities, the elderly, or professional groups. See this for more information about affinity fraud. 

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

G A Repple Broker Frederick Bremer Settles “Church Bond” Case

March 28, 2016-Casselberry, Florida

According to FINRA records, financial advisor Frederick P. Bremer, who has been registered with  G.A. Repple & Co. since January 1998 , recently settled a complaint with a customer alleging that the church bonds recommended by Bremer were unsuitable.

In FINRA Case 15-01938– the customer purchased church bonds issued by the California Baptist Foundation in 2009. In 2010, the customer invested in the Church Capital Funding, a managed pool of church bonds. The bonds went into default and the customer brought the arbitration action alleging that the investments were unsuitable, seeking $170,000 in damages. The case was settled in March 2016 for $60,000.

If you have questions about an account with Frederick P. Bremer or G.A. Repple, call to discuss your options.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Matthew Bell-Former WFG Investments Broker- Discloses 46 Customer Complaints-Pleads Guilty on Fraud Charges-San Antonio, TX

UPDATE MAY 2017

March 8, 2015- San Antonio, Texas

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) reports that Matthew A. Bell , 47 of Boerne, TX, a broker who formerly worked for WFG Investments and Securities America, has been named in 46 customer disputes alleging damages in excess of $2.5M. There are two disputes that have not yet been resolved, all of which allege unsuitable recommendations and misrepresentation and seek damages ranging from $5,000 to $75,000.

Bell was permitted to resign from WFG Investments in 6/2013 and is not currently registered with any broker dealer. Bell pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in a civil action brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The SEC had charged Bell and a group of other conspirators with pumping up the price of penny stocks and dumping them on unsuspecting investors. The companies involved in the pump and dump were CodeSmart Holdings Inc., Cubed Inc., StarStream Entertainment Inc. and The Staffing Group Ltd. 

Bell found many of his victims through the Oak Hills Church.

If you had an account handled by Bell that suffered losses, contact us to learn how you may be entitled to damages from his former employer.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870