Missouri Orders Alleged HYIP Operated By Christopher Hanson To Cease And Desist; Scheme Reached Into North Carolina, State Alleges; Tough Economic Times Give Scammers Opportunity To ‘Pull Schemes Directly From The Pages Of The Fraud Playbook,’ Official Says
UPDATED 10:52 A.M. EDT (U.S.A.) Christopher Hanson of Springfield, Mo., has been ordered to “cease and desist” from offering an HYIP “featuring supposed ‘leveraging’ on U.S. Treasuries,” the office of Secretary of State Robin Carnahan announced.
Missouri state securities regulators described the scheme as a hybrid that married Hanson’s HYIP to a prime-bank scheme.
“In tough economic times, everyone is looking for ways to make money, which gives fraudsters ample opportunities to pull schemes directly from the pages of the fraud playbook,” Carnahan said.
Regulators at both the state and federal level have issued repeated warnings about HYIP and prime-bank swindles. Walter Clarence Busby Jr., a figure in the AdSurfDaily Ponzi scheme in 2008 and a companion fraud scheme known as Golden Panda Ad Builder, was implicated by the SEC in three prime-bank swindles in the 1990s.
“The cease-and desist-order alleges that Hanson sold unregistered securities and committed securities fraud by failing to disclose material information to investors,” Carnahan’s office said. “According to the order, Hanson assured investors that their investments were risk free or ‘safe’ and were backed by a U.S. Treasury program. Hanson promised investors that they would quickly receive high rates of return on their investments, some in as little as 24 hours. To date, investors have not received any return on their investments.”
Hanson, according to the state’s order, is a former insurance salesman who was fired in 2005 “for failure to disclose reportable events on a Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration Form . . . and failure to fully cooperate with a regulatory inquiry and internal requests for information.”
By 2011, Hanson was in the HYIP business, according to Missouri state investigators — at least one of whom was corresponding with a Hanson investor in New York, according to the state.
The New York investor, according to Missouri investigators, “was referred to Hanson through an attorney in North Carolina.”
Also named in the order are Hanson Holdings LLC of Springfield and IBS Investments LLC, also of Springfield.
Read the Missouri order for additional details.
North Carolina recently was rocked by the collapse of Zeek Rewards, which the SEC described as a $600 million Ponzi- and pyramid scheme.