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June 2014 Archives

American Pension Services Inc. Faces Fraud Charges

American Pension Services Inc. (APS) and its founder, Curtis L. DeYoung, are facing fraud charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for allegedly investing client funds in questionable high-risk business ventures. APS's clients are said to have lost $22 million. On April 24, 2014, US District Court Judge Robert Shelby froze both APS and DeYoung's assets and placed APS under receivership. The allegations stemmed from 2005 when DeYoung supposedly advised clients to put their money into self-directed individual retirement accounts. DeYoung maintained complete control over their money and provided clients with inaccurate statements regarding the activity in their accounts. According to an Investment News report, "Savers allegedly were told there was $45.9 million in the master trust accounts at the end of 2012, when the balance was really $23.8 million, reflecting a shortage of $22 million."

Frederick Advisor Steals $1.2 Million Through Wire Transfers

Travis Wetzel, an advisor from Frederick, Maryland was indicted on wire fraud charges last month. Wetzel was the branch operations manager at Research Financial Strategy, an advisory firm located in Rockville, Maryland. Wetzel allegedly embezzled $1,282,224 from a clients of the firm. On May 9, 2014, FINRA permanently barred Wetzel from the securities industry

Total Wealth Management Charged for Misleading Clients

Total Wealth Management Inc., a San Diego-based investment firm, faces fraud charges after allegations by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that they had mislead investors. These allegations arose after the firm allegedly invested approximately three-fourths of its clients' funds into Altus Funds. Altus Funds are a group of proprietary funds that had a revenue sharing agreement with Total Wealth Management. Even though not all revenue sharing agreements are illegal, Total Wealth failed to disclose to their clients that they were receiving kickbacks for funneling investments to Altus.

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