Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s Securities Division ordered Imani Butler to show cause why restitution and civil penalties should not be paid after he allegedly misled a St. Louis-area investor and misappropriated funds for his own benefit.
Between August 2015 and April 2016, Butler allegedly collected at least $59,550 in investments in the form of stock purchases from a Creve Coeur, Missouri, investor. Butler claimed the money was for his startup business Fango LLC, a company that facilitated interactive experiences between fans and celebrity personalities. Butler instead misappropriated the funds for his personal benefit. Subsequently, Butler made untrue statements that misled the investor into making additional investments.
“Before you part with your hard-earned money, find out if the business is real or just a concept,” Securities Commissioner David M. Minnick said. “Check the registration status of the company and the people. Find out where your money is going and how to verify that it got there. Legitimate operations provide their investors with financial reports and documentation. If you ever have any doubts, contact our office first.”
The division is seeking an order for $59,550 in restitution with interest, $25,000 in civil penalties, and investigation costs.
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 to the Missouri Protects Investors website to file a complaint.