PRESS RELEASE
State Regulator Investigates Advance Fee Loan Scheme
 
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, September 28, 2004 
 
Contact: Irving L. Faught, Administrator
  Oklahoma Department of Securities
  405-280-7700
 
 
Oklahoma City/////  Irving L. Faught, Administrator of the Oklahoma Department of Securities, has launched an investigation into the practices of a commercial loan business based in Oklahoma with ties to the state of Massachusetts. The investigation targets Worldwide Commercial Funding, Inc. (Worldwide) and its principals, Betty G. Solomon and her son, Darrell Solomon, all of Oklahoma City. Worldwide solicits individuals and businesses to pay substantial advance fees for its services before obtaining the promised loans. Worldwide promises that the financing will come from North American Commercial Holdings LLC and its principal, Joseph Merenda, based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Department has received information indicating that the individuals and businesses attempting to obtain financing through Worldwide, North American Commercial Holdings, the Solomons or Mr. Merenda (Worldwide Program Principals) never receive the promised loans.

The investigation comes one year after the Department filed a civil action against Betty Solomon and Betty Solomon Brokerage, Inc. In that case, the Department alleged that Ms. Solomon and Betty Solomon Brokerage, Inc. were involved in a fraudulent scheme characterized as a high-yield investment program, a program similar to that being offered through Worldwide. The Department has received information that the Worldwide Program Principals may not be disclosing the Oklahoma County District Court order against Ms. Solomon that prohibits her from offering or selling any security in or from the state of Oklahoma.

The Department has also received information that the Worldwide Program Principals may not be disclosing their past failures to provide or obtain promised financing despite their receipt of substantial fees.

This press release and other information about securities are available on the Oklahoma Department of Securities' web site at www.securities.state.ok.us; by writing to the Department at First National Center, 120 North Robinson, Suite 860, Oklahoma City, OK 73102; or by calling the Department at 405-280-7700.
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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.