A Colorado man is permanently barred from selling securities in Tennessee and paid a $12,000 civil penalty to the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance as punishment for his role representing a Chattanooga natural gas and oil company.
Steven S. Boulter, who resides in Central City, Colorado, found investors who gave money to Hixson resident Harry Thompson and his company Chattaco from 2012-2014 to help purchase new leases on natural gas wells in Magoffin County, Kentucky.
Chattaco’s investors were promised large profits in exchange for their financial backing; however, the investors never received the rate of return they were promised nor any repayment for their principal investment.
While representing Chattaco, Boulter was never registered with TDCI’s securities division, which is a violation of state law.
“In Tennessee, it’s unlawful for any person to transact business from or in this state as a broker, agent, investment advisor or investment advisor representative unless that person is properly registered as such,” says TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. “Before making an investment, I urge Tennessee consumers to contact our securities division first and verify that their broker or adviser is registered.”
The $12,000 civil penalty was pursuant to a consent order entered on July 18 and equals the total amount Boulter received in commissions and royalties from Chattaco.
The TDCI is currently seeking sanctions against Thompson and Chattaco; a hearing about the matter was conducted Aug. 3 in Nashville. After taking the case under advisement, the administrative judge will issue an initial order in furtherance of the hearing, which is expected sometime this fall.
Consumers who suspect they are the victim of a securities or insurance fraud should contact the Tennessee Securities Division’s Financial Services Investigations Unit at 615 741-5900. To file a complaint online, visit tn.gov/commerce/article/securities-file-a-complaint.