Additional Archives
Securities Division Newsletters
August-September 2016 Newsletter
This month's newsletter begins with news of national recognition that our SOSNC Securities Agents have garnered for their work on the $75 million investment and mortgage fraud scheme known as “Operation Wax House.” We’re also bringing you news from a recent informative consumer protection seminar in Charlotte where Secretary Marshall offered valuable tips for avoiding investment scams. Also please check out a timely alert from the SEC to help avoid fraud related to the recent flooding in Louisiana. We’ve also included informative alerts regarding what you need to know about asset recovery companies, and tips to avoid being burned by a boiler room scam. Our readers who may be considering investments through the EB-5 program should check out our new Informed Investor Alert for tips to protect yourself. This edition also includes an SEC Bulletin on variable annuities and buyout offers. And check out our regular features: the Calendar of Upcoming Events, On the Docket, Recent Enforcement Actions, and News from the Regulators.

July 2016 Newsletter
This month's newsletter begins with coverage of North Carolina's new crowdfunding bill, which was just signed into law last week. We also have an update on the Ronald Earl McCullough Forex scheme case. Also please note news from the US Attorney's Office about a major conviction in the ZeekRewards Ponzi scheme, as well as the conviction of a Macon County man in a Forex scheme. We also have a write-up on a great educational summit held in Asheville recently with the goal of helping financial professionals head-off elder abuse. We hope our IA readers will check out an informative piece from the SEC regarding a new proposed rule to require Investment advisers to adopt and implement business continuity and transition plans. We've also included a timely investor alert from FINRA on "Brexit" and market risk. And check out our regular features: the Calendar of Upcoming Events, On the Docket, and News from the Regulators.

June 2016 Newsletter
We begin this month’s newsletter with an update on Ronald Earl McCullough, who remains at large in an alleged Ponzi scheme perpetrated in North Carolina between 2009 and 2012. The FBI is now offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to McCullough’s arrest. June 15 marked World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This month’s edition includes Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall’s appeal to citizens to join the fight against elder financial abuse. Also included is news of a Connecticut case where a man’s accused of using online dating sites in an investment fraud scheme. We also include a summary of a series of helpful investor bulletins from the SEC on what you need to know when reading through a mutual fund prospectus. And of course please check out our regular features: the Calendar of Upcoming Events, On the Docket, and News from the Regulators.

May 2016 Newsletter
Federal crowdfunding regulations, which went into effect across the nation this month, headline the May edition of the NC Securities Newsletter. Federal crowdfunding rules – and the possibility of state crowdfunding legislation – were the subject of a couple of interesting CLEs in Wake County this month. We have a write-up on the major points covered in those seminars. We’re also including an expansive alert from FINRA covering what investors need to know as they consider equity crowdfunding. We hope you’ll also check out the model rule from NASAA to provide more guidance for crowdfunding issuers. That proposed rule is now open for public comment. But not all the news is about crowdfunding this month! We hope you'll check out the news from a community workshop that brought state and local officials - including Secretary of State Elaine Marshall - to Columbus County this week to talk to seniors about how to avoid the perils of financial crime. We also republish FINRA's Cybersecurity Checklist as a courtesy to state-registered investment advisers who, as fiduciaries, have a duty to safeguard their clients' personal financial information. Also note two informative bulletins from the SEC covering what you need to know about stop-loss orders and stop-limit orders, as well as master limited partnerships. And of course please check out our regular features: the Calendar of Upcoming Events, On the Docket, and News from the Regulators.

April 2016 Newsletter
This month's newsletter begins with news of a major conviction in a $1.4 million Ponzi scheme in Yadkin County. We report on our very successful First Annual NC Investor Day, as well as our hosting of the quarterly meeting of the Business Resource Alliance, our participation in the "Modern Times, Modern Crimes" anti-fraud workshop in Wilmington, and our participation in a day-long workshop on investigating investment fraud designed specifically for law enforcement officers that was jointly sponsored by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation and the National White Collar Crimes Center (NW3C). We include information about - and a link to - a new report from FINRA on digital investment advice (also known as "robo investing") which all investors are encouraged to read. We've also included a couple of important bulletins from the SEC on the topics of performance claims and fraudulent stock promotions. Also included is an important NASAA Investor Alert regarding pension advance scams. We're also including a link to some timely recommended reading - a recent New York Times story shines a spotlight on the issue of disclosures against stockbrokers. A recent academic paper found some stats that may surprise you. And as always we hope you'll check out our calendar of upcoming educational events - we may be in your neighborhood soon! - as well as our On the Docket, Enforcement Actions, and News From the Regulators sections.

March 2016 Newsletter
In this issue we encourage investors and entrepreneurs and small businesses alike to register for our 2016 North Carolina Investor Day day-long conference that will be held on April 19 at the NC Biotechnology Center in Research Triangle Park, NC. We also report on the successful financial workshop that was conducted for about 100 Camp Lejeune Marines and their families on March 18. This was the second of a planned series of educational events the NC Department of the Secretary of State Securities Division is conducting in partnership with the USO of North Carolina. In a related article, we include information on the FINRA Investor Education Foundation's Military Spouse Fellowship Program that is taking applications through April 22 for its education and training program needed to earn the Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC®) designation. We include a reprint of an article from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) about how to work with financial institutions to help prevent the financial abuse and exploitation of older Americans. We also include investor alerts about scams relating to the Zika crisis and to government impersonators. We also remind people to update their bookmarks to the NC Department of the Secretary of State's website because we have officially changed our domain name from "" to "". Likewise, all departmental email addresses will change from ".com" to ".gov". We also want people to follow, share, and like our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Youtube social media sites. Finally, we include our regular features, the Calendar of Upcoming Events, On The Docket, Recent Enforcement Actions and News from the Regulators.

February 2016 Newsletter

In this issue, Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall highlights the seven “Sweetheart Swindles” of 2016. We also include information about Barry Carlton Taylor, 64, of Franklin, North Carolina, who recently pleaded guilty to fraud by commodities pool operator and concealment of money laundering charges. According to the criminal bill of information, Taylor defrauded his investors of approximately $2.5 million. In recognition of “Military Saves Week”, we include fraud prevention tips for military retirees. We remind people to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and LinkedIn. We also announce that public comments are now being accepted for initial classification of proposed new administrative rules for the NC Secretary of State’s Securities Division (18 NCAC 06). Comments from the public will be accepted through Monday, April 25, 2016. The public comment period is also open for Notary Public and E-Notary rules (18 NCAC 07) until April 15, 2016, and for E-Commerce rules (18 NCAC 10) until April 20, 2016. We include an in-depth investor bulletin published by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) explaining the new rules about investment crowdfunding. We also announce two upcoming conferences. The first is the 13th Annual Caregiver Education Conference at Barton College in Wilson on March 8, and the second is the 2016 North Carolina Investor Day in Durham (RTP) on April 19th. Registration information is included in this newsletter. Finally, we include our regular features, the Calendar of Upcoming Events, On The Docket, Recent Enforcement Actions and News from the Regulators.

January 2016 Newsletter
In this issue, we report on the sentencing in federal court of David Christopher Mayhew, of Raleigh, to 320 months imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release for his role in a $2 million investment fraud case. Mayhew was also ordered to repay his victims. We also report on the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminar on crowdfunding that Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall and Leo John, Investor and Business Outreach Legal Specialist, co-presented to the Orange County Bar Association. The Department of the Secretary of State will be conducting several free CLEs this year, so please periodically check our Calendar of Upcoming Events ( We include the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Investor Bulletin on the ten investor tips for 2016 and a joint SEC-FINRA alert on securities-backed lines of credit. We report that the registration renewal compliance rate for investment advisers was the best we've seen in the past five years. Only two investment advisers failed to renew their registrations for 2016 by the December 31, 2015. The Securities Division has made outreach and education a particular priority in recent years. We also report that the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) has launched a new website,, that is designed to provide senior-focused resources in investors, caregivers, industry and policymakers. We encourage everyone to bookmark it. We also recommend a recent Wall Street Journal article entitled, "The Ethical Challenges Facing Entrepreneurs". It expounds on the ethical risks entrepreneurs face at every stage of a company's life. We also include a list of the SEC's examination priorities for the coming year. Although specifically directed to industry professionals, it should give investors an idea of some of the questions they should be asking their brokers. We conclude with our regular features, including the Calendar of Upcoming Events, On the Docket, Recent Enforcement Actions and News from the Regulators.