Jefferson City, Mo. — Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s Securities Division ordered unregistered agents Eugene M. Hagen, Johnathan Plimpton and three companies to cease and desist after allegedly selling unregistered, non-exempt securities to two Missouri investors.
Hagen and Plimpton, working for Florida-based Becker, Jackson & Reed LLC, made unsolicited calls and emails to Missouri residents from Dexter, Missouri, offering an opportunity to invest in the development and construction of an amusement park in San Diego, California. They claimed the land had been purchased and representatives of Alpine Entertainment Inc. were already planning and building the park.
Two Missouri investors bought $100,000 of stock with a promise of 51 percent return on the investment every year. An investigation showed that at no time was Alpine engaged in developing an amusement park. Bank records show the Missouri investors’ money was deposited in the U.S. then transferred to unknown individuals in Mexico. The Missouri investors have not received a return on their investment or a refund and have been unable to contact the agents since May of 2017.
“Be very suspicious of investments promising unusually high rates of return,” Securities Commissioner David M. Minnick said. “They typically involve more risk and may, in fact, be a scam. Always check with our office to learn more about the investment being offered and the people offering it.”
Becker, Jackson & Reed LLC, Alpine Family Entertainment Parks 1 LLC and Alpine Entertainment Inc. are also named as respondents in the order.
The division also ordered Hagen, Plimpton and the three companies to show cause why they should not be ordered to pay civil penalties totaling more than $75,000.
A press release from the office of Jay 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.