HELENA, Mont. – Commissioner of Securities and Insurance, Monica J. Lindeen, recently announced her Final Agency Decision and Order against Global Sports Marketing Corporation (Global), Craig Steen, and Wayne Derrick Butler.
The decision orders Global, a Bozeman based firm, Steen, of Bozeman and Butler, of Pennsylvania to permanently cease and desist from violating the Montana Securities Act. The order also fines Global, Steen and Butler $600,000 each for committing securities fraud against twenty investors and orders restitution totaling $1,100,242.20.
Allegations were made by the Commissioner’s office that during the period 2003 – 2005, Butler and Steen solicited and sold Montanans an investment opportunity in Global Sports Marketing, which they claimed would double the investors’ money or better in the first year. To make these outstanding returns, Butler and Steen told investors that Global Sports Marketing would purchase large plasma screen televisions using investors’ money, place the plasma screens in high traffic areas at sports venues and other locations throughout the country, sell advertising for the screens at $4 per minute and then return $2 per minute from the ads back to investors. While Global Sports Marketing raised enough money from investors to purchase at least 147 plasma screen televisions, the Commissioner’s action alleged that it did not appear any were purchased nor was any advertising sold.
“This case highlights the importance of checking the background of any financial professional or company you choose to do business.” said Commissioner Lindeen. “Investors should guard against high-pressure sales pitches for unregistered securities.”
Prior to the taking original action, no investor had received a return of principal and most investors had received minimal or no return on their investment. Individual investments in Global ranged from a few thousand to several hundred thousand dollars. One investor, who was formerly retired, claimed he has had to go back to work as a result of this investment.
To learn to protect yourself and check to see if an investment product or individual is registered in Montana, call the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Office at (800) 332-6148.