Florida Office of Financial Regulation

Arrests Made in Orlando Investment Fraud Scheme

05/01/2014

For Immediate Release                                 
Thursday, May 1, 2014
 
Contact: Jamie Mongiovi
(850) 410-9709
 

Arrests Made in Orlando Investment Fraud Scheme
 
Tallahassee, Fla. - The Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) today announced the arrests of Walter Cox Parsons, II, Donald (Jack) Jackson Smith, Jr., and Kenneth Ray Platter. Parsons was arrested March 18, 2014, by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, Platter was arrested April 16, 2014, by the St. Cloud Police Department, and Smith turned himself in at the Sarasota County Sherriff’s Office on April 24, 2014. These individuals are accused of making unauthorized sales of securities through investment offers marketed as “secure” and/or “no risk” ventures. Parsons, Smith, and Platter have each been charged with one count of grand theft, one count of scheme to defraud, one count of sale of unregistered securities, one count of sale of securities by an unregistered agent, and one count of securities fraud in connection with this scheme.
 
“The OFR investigation revealed that the defendants fraudulently obtained more than $2.2 million from four Orlando area investors,” said OFR Commissioner Drew J. Breakspear. “We are pleased that these individuals are now in the hands of the State’s Justice System, and Florida consumers are safer. Our team is committed to protecting Floridians from perpetrators, and we urge consumers to verify the license of a company or individual before doing business with them.”  
 
The defendants obtained these monies through the operation of Lighthouse Capital Development, LLC, and Parsons Financial Services, Inc. The victims were lured into the scheme by being told they were investing in secure, no risk ventures. However, the majority of money received from the victims was allegedly used by the defendants for their personal gain. The investigation also revealed that Lighthouse Capital Development, LLC, and Parsons Financial Services, Inc., have never been licensed to sell securities in Florida. John Clary, assistant state attorney and economic crimes specialist of the 9th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office, will prosecute the case.  
 
If you are thinking about investing, follow these simple safety measures to protect yourself.
• Verify a License of the company or individual before you do business.
• Consult with professionals who listen and understand your financial goals.
• Carefully and completely consider any financial product before investing.
• Request written information that fully explains the product and ask questions.
• Promises of “no risk,” “100 percent guaranteed,” and “get your money back” may lead to financial losses.
 
If you feel that you may be the victim of a financial crime or if you suspect questionable practices, file a complaint online (www.flofr.com) or call our office, (850) 487-9687.
 
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