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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

GRAND BLANC, MICHIGAN COUNTRY CLUB OWNER UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR RUNNING A PONZI SCHEME: Here's How You Can Research Your "Investment Adviser" So You Won't Hand Over Your Cash To A Con Man!

Jason Bescoe, the owner of a Flint, Michigan area country club, the Atlas Valley County Club, is reportedly the center of an investigation for his role in what has been described as a "Ponzi scheme".

The investigation began when Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell received a complaint from an individual claiming his elderly parents were being exploited by Bescoe.  

The investigation has grown, and search warrants are flying.

While Bescoe is legally presumed to be innocent, and I'm not blaming elderly people for not conducting rigorous due diligence, anyone who decides to invest should do just that.

Here's what I found out about Bescoe:

1) SEC records reveal Bescoe has not been licensed as a stockbroker since 2006.

2) Bescoe's official SEC BrokerCheck report reveals two serious "regulatory events" in just the last two years: one in Washington state and one here in Michigan.

Bescoe's firm, Research Money Management (RMM), was accused in July 2016 of transacting business in Washington state as an investment adviser when not be registered in the state. The case was resolved in late August 2016 with a "Cease and Desist" order was issued and Bescoe slapped with $30,000 in civil penalties and fees.

Here in Michigan, Bescoe paid $2,000 in 2015 to settle another complaint and agreed to additional sanctions, including a quarterly compliance review by an independent CPA, attorney or other compliance expert. 

Bescoe is the managing member and sole employee of RMM. His office is located in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Bescoe was registered as a Michigan securities salesperson from July 1995 to August 2006. 

In August 2006, he applied to be licensed as a Michigan investment adviser representative; however, he failed to take the qualifying examination and was not licensed at that time. 

In March 2015, Michigan's securities division initiated an administrative action against Bescoe for offering and selling securities in Michigan without proper licensure in violation of the Michigan Securities Act. 

He re-applied for licensure in Michigan on March 18, 2015. 

The administrative action was resolved through the entry of a Stipulation on April 6, 2016 and he was granted a Conditional Registration in Michigan.
3) Bescoe and his wife, Andrea, filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy action in 2004, discharging their debts in 2005, less than one year before Bescoe formed his investment firm.

All of that information in a 15 minute search, and I can only imagine what the search warrants and subpoenas will uncover.

Please, people, do your own due diligence (and watch out for your elderly parents) before you hand any money over to a so-called "investment adviser".

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