Lee County Man Pleads Guilty to Securities Fraud
October 5, 2012
Robert T. Treese, III, District Attorney for the 37th Judicial Circuit, Lee County, Alabama; and Joseph Borg, Director of the Alabama Securities Commission (ASC) announced that on Oct. 3, 2012, Thomas Washington Campbell, III, a Salem, Alabama resident, pled guilty to a single count of Sale of Unregistered Securities and was sentenced to two years’ incarceration before Circuit Court Judge Chris Hughes. Campbell remains free on his original $60,000 bond pending probation and restitution hearings scheduled for Dec. 5, 2012 in Lee County Circuit Court.
An ASC Enforcement Division investigation determined that since approximately 2005, Campbell, acting as President and Chief Executive Officer of TCA Investment Group, Ltd., fraudulently obtained approximately $48,000 from more than 50 victims by representing that he could secure funding for investors seeking alternative financing for real estate development, business projects and other ventures. The scheme that Campbell ran helped fund the operation of an advance fee loan business wherein he sought out victims online who had been unsuccessful in financing their own projects through traditional means. Campbell convinced individuals to invest by making fraudulent claims of his previous business successes and his ability to secure financing for his clients. Investors were led to believe that their money was being used for processing and other fees related to securing third party financing and that said fees would be refunded if financing was unsuccessful. The investigation showed that victims who had been approved for financing did not receive any funds from Campbell and that neither Campbell nor his company are registered to conduct securities business in Alabama, as required by law. The investigation also determined that Campbell allegedly misrepresented to his victims his knowledge, experience, licensing and means to secure financing for them.
The ASC cautions potential investors to thoroughly scrutinize and research any investment opportunity or offer. Contact the ASC with inquiries concerning securities broker-dealers, agents, investment advisers, investment adviser representatives, financial planners, registration status of securities or debt management programs, to report suspected fraud or to obtain consumer information. The ASC provides free investor education and fraud prevention materials in print, on our website and through educational presentations upon request.