Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s securities division issued a final cease and desist order awarding civil penalties, restitution, and costs against a St. Louis start-up company, Fango, LLC, and its founder Imani Butler.
Missouri Securities Commissioner David Minnick issued the order following a contested hearing in October 2021. The commissioner found that between August 2015 and April 2016, Butler raised $60,050 in start-up funding for Fango by selling stock to one St. Louis investor. Butler claimed his enterprise would facilitate interactive experiences between fans and celebrities and/or athletes via an internet website and mobile phone application. Once in possession of the investor’s money, Butler misappropriated a majority of the funds for his own personal benefit and made material untrue statements that misled the investor into providing Fango with additional funding.
Commissioner Minnick ordered Fango and Butler to pay restitution in the amount of $37,408.45 plus interest to accrue at 8% from April 2016 until paid in full, civil penalties in the amount of $30,000 and pay $16,510.88 in investigation costs.
“Always check out anyone who solicits investment opportunities or gives financial advice. If an offer seems ‘too good to be true, it probably is,” said Ashcroft. “Before you part with your hard-earned money, verify there are sufficient safeguards in place to assure your money will be used as you were told it would. Get it in writing.”
Secretary Ashcroft urges investors to call the toll-free investor protection hotline at 800-721-7996 or visit the Missouri Protects Investors website for more information or to file a complaint.