Secretary of State: Investment Adviser bilks $230K from elderly investor

via Secretary of State: Investment Adviser bilks $230K from elderly investor, on clarionledger.com, 5/17/2014.

An investment firm and an associated broker have entered into an agreement with the office of Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann to pay more than $110,000 after allegedly violating Mississippi securities laws. The agent allegedly persuaded a 90-year-old Mississippi woman to invest $230,000 in a failing company, according to Hosemann’s office.

Ralph Lord, formerly affiliated with the investment firm Sanders Morris Harris (SMH), Inc. (now known as The Edelman Financial Group), has agreed to pay $10,000, and agree to “heightened supervision” should he return to the securities industry. The firm will pay $75,000 to reimburse the estate of Margaret Watson, along with $25,000 in penalties and $10,000 to “reimburse the State of Mississippi for administrative costs,” Hosemann’s office reported in a news release today.

Lord allegedly encouraged 90-year-old Watson to “trade her diversified portfolio and investments for $230,000 worth of funds in Remote Knowledge, LLC,” the release notes, adding that the company had a “long history of litigation and over $5,000,000 in losses.”

Because the violation occurred prior to revisions to the Mississippi Securities Act, Hosemann noted, complete restitution to Watson’s estate could not be ordered by the Secretary of State’s Office.

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