Oklahoma City///// On June 24, 2010, Oklahoma County District Court Judge Vicki Robertson issued a temporary restraining order against Firstar Financial Group of Central Oklahoma, LLC, John Joseph Hamilton, and Robin L. Peck. The judge’s action was based on an emergency request by the Oklahoma Department of Securities. The Department of Securities filed a civil action against the defendants alleging the fraudulent sale of unregistered investment interests and the sale of capital appreciation bonds.
The Department initiated its investigation based on newspaper advertisements run by Firstar Financial Group of Central Oklahoma, LLC. The advertisements promote certificates of deposit issued by FDIC-insured banks that purportedly offer the highest certificate of deposit rates in the country. To achieve the yield advertised, Firstar Financial must contribute additional cash on behalf of the investor.
Firstar Financial Group of Central Oklahoma, LLC is affiliated with First Fidelity Financial Group, LLC located in the state of Florida. First Fidelity Financial Group, LLC promotes a marketing concept to entities across the country that involves the packaging of bank certificates of deposit with promotional incentives resulting in a higher yield to investors.
The Arkansas Securities Department has recently issued a cease and desist order for a company offering a similar investment scheme. www.securities.arkansas.gov The FDIC is currently warning banks to be aware of third party referrals that are contributing their own cash to make up the difference between the banking institution’s actual interest rate and the advertised above-market rate. www.fdic.gov/news/news/fincnail/2009/fil09032.pdf.
The Department also alleged that John Joseph Hamilton and Robin L. Peck were involved in the offer and/or sale of A&O Life Funds, L.P. and its affiliates’ capital appreciation bonds. These capital appreciation bonds were promoted as a unique investment strategy that would yield returns of higher than 12% to 15%. A&O Life Fund 5.1 LLC, the issuer, has filed for bankruptcy protection in the Northern District of Illinois.
“This action was filed to put a stop to any violations of the Oklahoma securities laws,” said Irving L. Faught, Administrator of the Department of Securities.
The Department’s suit against the defendants seeks restitution for investors, a civil penalty, and an injunction against further offers or sales of securities in and/or from the state of Oklahoma.
A copy of the Court’s order can be found on the Department’s website at www.securities.ok.gov.
The Department of Securities is charged with administration and enforcement of the Oklahoma Securities Act. The Department investigates securities fraud, the offer or sale of unregistered securities, and the sales practices of stockbrokers and investment advisers. The Administrator may seek administrative or civil sanctions against any person who violates state securities regulations and, when appropriate, make criminal referrals.