PRESS RELEASE
Department of Securities Files Actions Against Alleged Boiler Rooms Targeting Stock Investors
 
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, May 29, 1996 
 
Contact: Irving L. Faught, Administrator
  Oklahoma Department of Securities
  405-280-7700
 
 
Oklahoma City/////  Irving Faught, Administrator of the Oklahoma Department of Securities announced today that the Department has taken legal action to suspend Investors Associates, Inc. of Hackensack, New Jersey for conducting securities business in Oklahoma, alleging illegal sales practices. This action was taken as a part of the biggest nationwide crackdown ever by state securities agencies against telemarketers that sell micro-cap stock to small investors over the phone. Faught also announced that the Department has initiated investigations of three other out of state broker/dealers for potential violation of the Oklahoma Securities Law., including William Scott & Company of Union, New Jersey; Biltmore Securities, Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, Fl. and Euro-Atlantic Securities of Boca Raton, Fl.

"There is an increase in "boiler room" type pressure sales tactics and investors need to be on guard," says Faught. "Boiler Room scam artists, using cold calling techniques and scripts, persuade people to purchase stock in an unknown company that insiders sell when the price is driven high enough. Any time you receive a cold call asking you to part with your hard earned money for stock in an unknown company you should just hang up."

These actions are being taken as part of the first phase of a national campaign by state securities agencies against this enormous rise in fraudulent sales practices. In late fall of 1996, the securities agencies' umbrella organization, the North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc. (NASAA), authorized a special project to combat the growing problem of dishonest sales practices in the marketplace for micro-capitalized companies. In February, 1997, a strike force comprised of representatives from the states conducted surprise examinations of five brokerage firms with headquarters in the metropolitan New York City area. At approximately the same time, Oklahoma launched its own investigations into firms with the same manner of operation.

"When you're contacted by someone from a securities firm that you haven't heard of, call us at the Department of Securities to find out more about the caller and the firm," says Faught. "The simplest inquiry is to ask if they're registered to do business in our state. But you should also ask us about the record of the firm and its representative. Are there past disciplinary events that you should be aware of? Are they under active investigation? The majority of this information is public, but you've got to ask for it."
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This press release, and related information, is available on the Securities Commission's web site at securities.ok.gov, by phone at (405) 280-7700, or in writing at:  Oklahoma Securities Commission, 204 North Robinson, Suite 400, Oklahoma City, OK 73102.