Jefferson City, MO (STL.News) – Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s Securities Division ordered unregistered agent Jeffrey Wayne Robnett and his company to cease and desist after allegedly offering securities under a prohibited contract.
In August 2017, Robnett, a Jefferson City resident, allegedly met a 51-year-old Texas resident online and carried on a phone, text and messaging relationship for several months. Robnett claimed to be a very successful foreign currency trader. Robnett convinced the resident to take $50,000 from a college savings account and invest it with him through an offshore trading platform.
Robnett then visited the investor in Texas and they set up a corporation in Belize in order to open a trading account with the offshore platform. He persuaded the investor to sign a management agreement giving power of attorney to his company, Classified Investments Inc., and used the agreement to trade on behalf of the investor.
The account was set up Oct. 31, 2017, and by Jan. 6, 2018, the account was valued at approximately $4,874. During that period, Robnett received commissions and fees from the investor’s account of $7,128, despite incurring substantial losses. He refused to answer questions from the investor about the account.
“Be cautious investing your money with individuals who approach you online,” Securities Commissioner David M. Minnick said. “Through social media and other websites, untrustworthy individuals seek to gain your trust by offering large profits. They may be operating in Missouri, in another state or overseas. More often than not, they’re trying to scam you. If you have any doubts, contact our office first.”
The division also ordered Robnett and Classified Investments Inc. to show cause why they should not be ordered to pay restitution, civil penalties and costs of at least $60,000.
Ashcroft urges all investors to know the risks. If you have any questions about an investment opportunity or wish to check the background and registration status of a financial adviser, please call the toll-free investor protection hotline at (800) 721-7996, or go online to www.missouriprotectsinvestors.com to file a complaint.