JEFFERSON CITY — Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s Securities Division ordered Trading Epic to show cause why restitution, civil penalties and costs should not be imposed after allegedly defrauding an elderly Missouri investor.
In November 2018, a Springfield, Missouri, resident invested $300 after being contacted through Facebook by an alleged agent of Trading Epic. The agent claimed a $300 investment could easily grow to $4,000 within one week. As of Dec. 12, the investor’s Trading Epic account showed a value of $16,700, but the investor was unable to withdraw any funds, even after paying a $1,905 withdrawal fee. Trading Epic then demanded another $1,711 to pay taxes on the profits before the investor’s funds would be released.
Trading Epic’s website lists an incomplete address in New York, New York. The company’s website falsely claims that it is registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The website does not disclose fees or commissions, or its principal owners.
“Be aware that solicitors use Facebook and other social media as a new ‘cold-call’ technique to invite users into potentially fraudulent investments,” Securities Commissioner David M. Minnick said. “They persuade investors by promising guaranteed income with little to no risk. If an investment seems too good to be true, please contact our office.”
The division is seeking a final order from the commissioner ordering Trading Epic to pay restitution plus interest, civil penalties and investigation costs totaling more than $145,000.
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.