On Tuesday, the Arizona Corporation Commission sanctioned multiple individuals and their affiliated companies for unlawful sales of securities and investment advice, ordering them to pay more than $579,823 in restitution and $48,500 in administrative penalties.
Visionary Business Works, Inc. and Robert Brian Brauer
The Commission issued a default order against Visionary Business Works, Inc., formerly of Chandler, requiring the payment of $526,500 in restitution and a $25,000 administrative penalty in connection with its unregistered investment sales of company stock. Also, the Commission sanctioned the company’s Chief Financial Officer, Florida resident Robert Brian Brauer, with a $10,000 administrative penalty for offering and selling the unregistered corporate stock issued by Visionary Business Works, Inc.
The Commission found that Visionary Business Works, Inc. was in the business of developing fleet management software, but was not registered to offer or sell securities in Arizona. The Commission found that Brauer, who was not registered as an Arizona securities salesman, visited a married couple at their home to discuss investing in Visionary, and while he was there, showed them Visionary financial documents on his computer. The Commission found that a Visionary stock certificate signed by Brauer was issued to the investors. To date, the investors have not received any repayment.
In settling this matter, Brauer neither admitted nor denied the Commission’s findings, but agreed to the entry of the Commission’s consent order. [Read related documents here]
Robert Eric Hawkins and Infinity Fuels, Inc.
The Commission ordered insurance producer Robert Eric Hawkins of Surprise and his affiliated company to pay $40,295 in restitution and a $7,500 administrative penalty for committing securities fraud in connection with an unregistered clean energy company.
The Commission found that, while not registered to offer and sell securities in Arizona, Hawkins solicited two Arizona residents to invest in Infinity Fuels, Inc., a start-up Nevada company involved in waste to fuel refinery development. The Commission found that Hawkins promised investors a guarantee of full return of the principal amount invested within specified time periods. The Commission found, however, that Hawkins failed to repay the investors and to disclose that the Internal Revenue Service had assessed him for unpaid taxes.
In settling this matter, Hawkins agreed to the entry of the consent order and admitted to the Commission’s findings only for purposes of the administrative proceeding. [Read related documents here]
Robert Eric Hawkins and Hawkins Wealth Advisory, LLC
In a separate matter, the Commission ordered Robert Eric Hawkins of Surprise and his limited liability company to pay restitution in the principal amount of $13,028 and a $6,000 administrative penalty for engaging in fraudulent practices involving the provision of investment advisory services.
The Commission found that Hawkins held out Hawkins Wealth Advisory, LLC as a fee-based registered investment adviser and himself as an investment adviser representative, but neither was licensed with the Commission’s Securities Division to provide investment advisory services in Arizona.
Additionally, the Commission found that Hawkins misused a portion of one investor’s funds provided to him for a separate investment.
[Read related documents here]