FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, filed a Temporary Cease-and-Desist Order (TCDO) on November 5th., 2012, halting further fraudulent sales activities by Michigan-based WR Rice Financial Services and its owner Joel I. Wilson. FINRA also issued a complaint against WR Rice and Wilson charging fraud in the sales of limited partnership interests in entities affiliated with the Diversified Group and American Realty Funds Corporation, companies in which Wilson has ownership interest and control. FINRA announced that it is filing the TCDO based on the belief that ongoing customer harm and depletion of customer assets would likely continue before a formal disciplinary proceeding against WR Rice and Wilson could be completed, as reported in an article on FINRA’s website.

FINRA alleges that WR Rice, Wilson and other registered representatives at the firm sold more than $4.5 million in limited partnership interests. These were sold to approximately 100 investors from mostly low-to-moderate-income households. FINRA charges that Wilson and WR Rice raised funds promising that the proceeds would be invested in land contracts on residential real estate in Michigan and would pay an interest rate of 9.9 percent. When in reality, investors’ funds were used to make unsecured loans to companies Wilson owned or controlled. FINRA also alleges that WR Rice and Wilson failed to disclose to investors that Wilson extended the improper loans due to an inability to pay them as they became due.

The FINRA article states that Wilson is also charged with providing fabricated documents to FINRA. These documents were related to the limited partnership offerings. Wilson is also charged with failing to provide full and complete testimony during FINRA’s investigation of him and his firm after he was confronted with the falsified documents.

Securities Attorney, Lars Soreide, of Soreide Law Group, PLLC, has represented clients nationwide before FINRA. If you have sustained investment losses due to your stock broker or financial advisor’s recommendations call for a free consultation on how to potentially recover your losses. To speak with an attorney call: 888-760-6552, or visit our website at: