BISHCA Presses for Full Accounting in Securities Case
The Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration announced today that it continues to seek a full accounting of funds raised from investors for a film project by Addison resident Malcolm Parker. The film project has been underway since 1999. The funds raised from investors are believed to be as much as $10 million, though the full extent of fundraising is currently unknown.
Recent filings with Washington Superior Court show that investigators have identified almost 700 individuals who entered more than 2,600 separate investment agreements with Parker; agreements believed to be in violation of State securities laws. Based on an initial investigation, the Department obtained an injunction in November prohibiting Parker from continuing to solicit investors or sell unregistered securities.
Despite a Superior Court order in December 2009 requiring Parker to produce a detailed financial accounting of how funds were used, that accounting has not been completed, nor has Parker provided figures for the total amount of money currently owed investors. At a hearing held this week, the court noted the slowness of required disclosures, and ordered Parker to respond to discovery.
"We knew from our investigation that Mr. Parker used these funds to pay for his own personal living expenses and to pay earlier investors, but he has resisted responding to some of the most basic questions about the project,” said BISHCA Commissioner Paulette Thabault. “We are pleased that we will finally get some answers from Mr. Parker."
Most recently, Parker admitted to his investors that the accountings required by the State would show that he had made "large payments" to a previously undisclosed collaborator. The State estimates these payments to be in excess of $3 million.
"Mr. Parker’s disclosure that he has transferred what amounts to millions of dollars of investor money in such circumstances is an example of why we continue to press for a full accounting and discovery from the Defendant," said Thabault. "What services did these payments cover? What is this individual’s role in Mr. Parker’s fundraising? What benefit did investors receive from these payments? These are all questions that remain to be answered in order for us to have a complete picture of this situation, and do everything we can to obtain restitution for investors who trusted Mr. Parker with their money.”
The Department urges anyone considering an investment to “ask and check” before they invest. To verify if a seller or investment product is duly registered, and to find out if the seller has any known record of securities violations, you can call the Vermont Securities Division toll-free at 1-877-550-3907, or you can go to the Division’s website at www.vermontinvestorprotection.info and do an online check. There is also a wealth of consumer protection information and resources on the website.
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