JEFFERSON CITY — Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s Securities Division issued a consent order against TMTE Inc. and Walter Vera after they misled at least seven Missouri residents into investing over $1 million in precious metals.
From Jan. 1, 2018, through Dec. 31, 2018, TMTE Inc. and some of the company’s employees, including Vera, advised at least seven Missouri residents to liquidate over $1 million in funds from retirement accounts in order to purchase precious metals in newly established, self-directed retirement accounts.
TMTE Inc., also known as Metals.com, and Vera have never been registered or exempt from registration as a broker-dealer, investment adviser, commodity merchant or investment adviser representative in the state of Missouri.
The seven Missouri investors are residents of Raytown, Webb City, Bridgeton, Sedalia, Kansas City, St. Ann and O’Fallon.
“When it comes to your hard-earned money and lifelong retirement accounts, don’t give in to scare tactics or high pressure techniques,” Ashcroft said. “Our office is here to help investors be more informed. We can tell you if the company or person soliciting your money is registered or exempt from registration. Check with us before you send the check.”
The division ordered Vera and TMTE Inc. to repay investors and to pay $36,000 to the Investor Education and Protection Fund and $2,000 in investigation costs.
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.