Monday, September 21, 2009

Steadivest members were disciplined by State in 2005

The Mississippi Secretary of State disciplined and fined W. Marshall Wolfe, MTW Investment Financing, and Joel Travelstead $20,000 in 2005 for several violations of Mississippi securities laws. Wolfe and Travelstead are currently accused in a lawsuit (see link below) of defrauding investors for millions of dollars using methods similar to those described in the Consent Orders. Jackson Jambalaya obtained a copy of the orders through a public records request.

The Consent Order states:

"1. The Division received a notice from Bancorp South Investment Services Inc. that one of its former broker-dealer agents, Marshall Wolfe, may have been engaged in selling securities not recorded on the regular books and records of the broker-dealer in violation of the Mississippi Securities Act Rule 523 (B)(2).
2. Wolfe was employed at BISI from December 2001 to February 2004. After leaving BISI in February 2004, Wolfe worked for the investment services arm of Trustmark for five months.
3. According to information supplied by BISI, and material uncovered during the Division's investigation, several of Wolfe's BISI clients purchased promissory notes while Wolfe was employed at BISI.(Does this ring a bell? Seems this is exactly what was happening at Steadivest.) The Division also confirmed that at least two of Wolfe's Trustmark customers eventually invested in MTW.
4. MTW is in the business of making short term loans to individuals and businesses who are residential real estate developers. Originally, MTW funded its loans through capital contributions by its members. The Division determined that beginning in September 20, 2003, MTW raised capital for funding its loans by selling promissory notes to investors. (Sound familiar?) The promissory notes issued by MTW were not registered with the Division.
5. One of the members is Wolfe's wife. However, Wolfe maintains he is not an officer, director, or agent of MTW despite the fact that his signature appears on several documents wherein he purports to be acting on behalf of MTW."

Mr. Wolfe thus operated a scheme similar to the one he is accused of running in the lawsuit filed recently by several investors. Mr. Wolfe did so while employed by Bancorp South and Trustmark and in doing so, violated several laws. Bancorp South discovered he was selling these promissory notes from his MTW company to his Bancorp South clients behind the bank's back ("selling away"). It should be noted he did the same thing to his next employer, Trustmark. Trustmark terminated him and reported him to the Securities Division of the Missisippi Secretary of State's office for further disciplinary action. When questioned by the Division, Wolfe lied to them and said he had nothing to do with MTW despite the fact his wife and business partner were members and he signed documents.

The company was created in early 2004 with Joel Travelstead, Tracy Wolfe (Mr. Wolfe's wife), and Ray Montgomery, Jr. (Mrs. Wolfe's brother) as members. In 2006 the ownership of the LLC was restructured and Joel Travelstead and Marshall Wolfe were made the sole members. Joel Travelstead was removed as member on March 31, 2007 and Patrick McCraney, Jr. (co-defendant in current lawsuit) was listed as a manager and registered agent. The address was changed to the same one as the other Steadivest companies. Mr. Wolfe dissolved MTW in 2008.

However, the Division refused to play Mr. Wolfe's game of corporate musical chairs and stated the violations committed by Wolfe were:
"A. Offering and selling unregistered securities in the form of promissory notes.."
B. Engaging in securities transactions that were not recorded on the books of a broker-dealer..
C. Engaging in prohibited acts by failing to disclose that the securities were not registered and using sales materials that contained incomplete and inaccurate information..."

The State fined Mr. Wolfe $10,000 and suspended his license for one year. Copy of Consent Order The State determined Mr. Travelstead committed similar violations (except he didn't backstab his employer) and was fined $10,000 as well. The State ordered MTW to notify all investors of their right to a refund of their money. Copy of MTW Consent Order

The consent order reads almost like a summary sheet of the lawsuit recently filed against him by several investors. Given his past history, one can only wonder if Mr. Wolfe and his colleagues went back to the same well that got them in trouble several years ago.

Related posts:
Steadivest update and Proforma statement from December 2007
Did Steadivest use shell games to shield assets from creditors?
Investors sue Steadivest
Steadivest: snakes or snake-bitten?

Note: Does this sound familiar?


Kingfish said...

I seem to remember a few weeks ago some Steadivest defenders blasting me for not posting ALL of the documents that were available. I wonder if this is what they were asking for.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't a "Steadivest defender". But lying seems to be par for the course for you.

I pointed out that you implied quite a bit about a situation when you admittedly left out part of the information. I pointed out that you were quite content with leaving unsubstantiated rumor in comments (some made by you anonymously) but were quick to fault others who offered their "opinion" on something that occurred because it didn't fit your storyline. Just like you've implied several things in the Bell case and when called on it, you label me as an "George Bell defender". Or when I pointed out inaccuracies in the Irby case and I'm an "Irby defender." Anytime one points out your many shortcomings in attempting to tout yourself as a reporter, you simply label them as a defender because it's easier than admitting you were or are wrong.

Kingfish said...

What exactly did I lie about in the George Bell, III case?

What inaccuracies in the Irby case are you referring to?

Please, do tell.

You've yet to explain how Wolfe wasn't trying to shield assets from the BK court in violation of BK law which his moves right before his filing certainly look like. Tell me exactly why putting those liens on them from other companies he owned was not something that should be reversed by the Court? You have yet to answer that question but instead choose to call me a liar.

Anonymous said...

Uh, this is his BLOG, why are you on his ass? He's never claimed to be a "reporter". He gets more original information and actual factual documents than any media outlet in THIS area. Get over it. And no, this isn't Kingfish. What do you do? Spend your day trying to find IP addresses and crack accounts? Woohoo, what a life.

I'm KF too!. We're all KF. said...

If 12:48 has proof that KF is posting here anonymously then let's see it.

Anonymous said...

Please tell me that this Ray Montgomery is not the retired chancellor in Madison County.

Anonymous said...

KF, you lied when you said I "defended" George Bell and then provided a link to something I said that, in no way, could be construed as defending his actions, but it was easier for you to wash it away by claiming it was "defending" him.

There are so many inaccuracies in the Irby case, some made by you and many by anonymous posters that you refuse to remove, but if a comment is made that did not do justice to your storyline, you removed it.

I can't explain anything you've asked, because, unlike you, I don't claim to have answers to something I'm completely unaware of.

You are a liar because you lied, not because I can't answer questions about something I have no knowledge of.

I'm KF too!. We're all KF. said...

There are so many inaccuracies in the Irby case

Point 'em out.

Anonymous said...

12:58 - most of what 'Fish deletes in the comments, is extreme foul language, comments that can hurt children involved or are just completely untrue or unsubstantied rumor. You still didn't provide any proof, just make statements.

Either put up or shut up. The rest of us appreciate this blog.

Anonymous said...

Most of what KF removes, are unsubstantiated rumor that doesn't fit his storyline. Unsubstantiated rumor that does fit his storyline get to remain.

You really don't expect someone to retrieve proof of comments being deleted, do you?... perhaps that proof might come out one day

Attempting to establish that using a probate proceeding for discovery would be something KF would condemn all day long, if he wasn't one-sided on the issue.

All of the rumors that remained about salon visits, vacations, etc etc in the Irby case.

It's OK. Just want to make sure you don't take yourself too seriously when you try to bash on others.... hypocrisy is a bitch, isn't she?

I'm KF too!. We're all KF. said...

Just want to make sure you don't take yourself too seriously ...

You might want to take a glance into a nearby mirror Sparky.

KaptKangaroo said...

I thought this article very relevant to the discussion at hand. Perhaps it might spark some interest or discussion about "Ponzi Schemes".

#1 Best of Jackson Commenter said...

@2:20pm if you bothered to read all of the JJ coverage on the double depraved heart murder you'd realize how stupid you sound. There have been many, many rumors and ruminations left here over the time by people friendly to the Irby's that didn't fit the "storyline" -- if there is one and there is not. Kingfish hasn't removed any of them.

I think the bitch, in this instance, is the burr you seem unable to extract from your saddle. You've got a problem.

Kingfish said...

I didn't provide a link to anything. I copied and pasted your exact quote which more than a few people also thought defended the Bells. You have yet to point out one thing I've gotten wrong on the Bells and for that matter, the Irby's.

What you do is pretty sleazy. You and your friends come on this site and call other people drug users, homosexuals, wife-beaters, and other crap, then when I take the comments down, you turn around and then make a claim like you do about my taking down comments because I disagree with them when they were actually what you are complaining about.

You have yet to answer one question or dispute one fact. All you have done is call me a liar, make wild accusations against me, and stir up stuff yet NEVER provide any facts. I started posting the exhibits last week. Did you say a word? Nope, you were strangely absent from that discussion. Do you dispute anything in these disciplinary actions? Nope. Did you contact WLBT and complain to them about their coverage? Nope. Have you explained why these liens placed on his properties before BK were not phony ones in violation of the law? Nope. For all of your complaining about my only presenting one side, you have yet to present anything in contrast besides a bunch of ad hominem attacks and bellyaching. the people that disagreed with my posts and made substantive arguments and disputed the facts didn't see their comments removed. In other words, put up or shut up.

Anonymous said...

You need to take about 99% of this down. The article is about Steadivest. Not Bell, Irby, you or anyone else. You WILL loose readers if the bickering doesn't stop.

stilettoGOP said...

No. the bickering is mild.

And knowing the hits this site sees a month; we're hardcore JJ-ers, we're not going anywhere.

Anonymous said...

them and their friends

that's some rich stuff there. if you can label everyone that's called you out about lying, removing content and all that it makes it easier to fight 'em huh ?

they all call other people homos, druggys wife-beaters ? but you can't back up those lies because you remove the comments ? that's good stuff right there

it's so very funny that the owner of the blog tells others that they have to provide something to combat his own lies and ignorance simply to cover up his own bullshit

btw, I like fish and I think myself should just leave it hear if i don't like what i read

Anonymous said...

Traci, what do you mean you aren't going anywhere you are all over other blogs

I'm KF too!. We're all KF. said...

You WILL loose readers if the bickering doesn't stop.

Now that is rich. Well KF, I guess you'll just have to rough it. You've been publishing since, when, something like early 2007? Damn, to throw it all away like that. LMAO

KaptKangaroo said...

Hey KF, why not start a "Those who like to talk off topic" post for the discussion of those who don't seem to have the intelligence to actually participate in the original post? The insipid attempts to attack the messenger are simply boring.

Anonymous said...

"btw, I like fish and I think myself should just leave it hear if i don't like what i read"

Did you NOT take English in high school?

Anonymous said...

Did anyone take the time to read the Minsky article posted above?

Anonymous said...

What is actually being done on the Steadivest/Marshall Wolfe/Investlinc situation? Does anyone know? Investigations and by whom?, etc. I know the legal papers have been posted.

Anonymous said...


This is Ciaccio. I just read the article on your our blog (and related docs) and felt compelled to respond since I hate to see Travelstead's name dragged through the mud. He is a kind and honest person.

The blog provides that the Secretary of State disciplined and fined Travelstead for violations of Mississippi Securties law. This statement is wrong for multiple reasons.

First, Travlestead was not fined (see paragraph 12 of the consent whereby MTW was fined $10K; there is no other fine as to Travelstead).

Second, Travelstead never admitted nor did the Secretary of State prove any violations by Travelstead (see paragraph 4 of the consent).

As such, I kindly request that you revise the article on your blog to correct these oversights. I don't believe that the oversights were intentional but they are misleading.

In fact, Travelstead had no idea that the promissory notes were to be registered. When he learned that this was the case, counsel was contacted and appropriate documents were filed. There is nothing more to it than that.

Any substantive issues that you are rightly uncovering have no relationship to Travelstead and occurred after his departure (which was nearly three years ago).

Feel free to call me if you have any questions. Keep up the good work.



KaptKangaroo said...

I have to commend Ciaccio in his absolutely factual and proper response to the article. Maybe we can get him as a guest author? The simple request above and the rationale behind it only furthers my belief that KF does have a very valuable and open approach to reporting on developments that concern this community. Further, there are a good number of intelligent, fair-minded, somewhat cynical readers here who value your work. I know, there is a place to send a check!!!

#1 Best of Jackson Commenter said...

I agree with Bob Keeshan's 3fifteener except for the reference to cynicism. Cynicism is deeply rooted in speaking out against authority. That, in my mind, is necessary check and balance regardless of where you reside in the spectrum.

Anonymous said...

There is a difference between cynicism and skepticism, especially when one hears dubious or spectacular statements.

"Trust, but verify" is usually a sound operating principle.

Anonymous said...

Trust first needs to be earned. Then you can verify to be sure the trusted is still worthy.

KaptKangaroo said...

I appreciate the discussion between cynicism and skepticism. Unfortunately, skepticism appears lost in the Jax community and, I feel, cynicism is appropriate.

In many instances here, stories shared in support of unethical behavior, whether related to story or personal experience lend credence to cynicism about justice (jackassery) in our state.

As I read the story about Peters, Shelton, et al., I was struck by how many examples by attorneys leveraging this very type of unethical behavior have occurred in my own experience and in examples shared by friends. A non-attorney, a law abiding citizen, while afforded the same opportunities is usually barred due to their scruples or finances. The access to justice in this state amounts to a law degree, favors, and a code where attorneys will protect their own at any cost.

Scruggs just got caught, so not a good rebuttal.

Kingfish said...

Lets see, who owned MTW when it was fined by the State? Travelstead, Tracy Wolfe, and Ray Montgomery, Jr. That means Mr. Travelstead was responsible for things done in MTW's name. Bernie Ebbers tried this defense once and it didn't work although it DID work for Ed Peters but do you really want to be classified in that regard with him as everyone has a pretty good idea why he escaped prosecution while his buddies went to jail for similar things as what MTW did.

Ignorance of the law IS no excuse and as member of the LLC, he was fined by the state as were Wolfe and Montgomery Jr although there were probably enough money in the company account to pay the fine.

If Mr. Travelstead was so outraged by Mr. Wolfe's actions, then he should have moved quickly to remove his name from the company. As it was, he stayed on as a member until January 1, 2006 and even that change wasn't filed until April 20, 2006, over a year after the state fined MTW and nearly two years after the violations took place.

As for the issue of whether he was found guilty of anything, let us get down to basics instead of what the little semantics and word games I am seeing. A Consent Order was issued by the Secretary of State. It is title "IN THE MATTER OF MTW INVESTMENT FINANCING, LLC and JOEL TRAVELSTEAD, RESPONDENTS". Got that? That means Joel Travelstead was a defendant/respondent.

It states "JOEL TRAVELSTEAD, a member of MTW, was engaged in the selling of promissory notes to investors." The notes issued by MTW "WERE NOT REGISTERED WITH THE DIVISION". Got it? That means Joel Travelstead engaged in the business of selling UNREGISTERED SECURITIES. That is what the STATE said, not some blogger.

The order goes on to state several violations were committed by "MTW AND TRAVELSTEAD".

MTW was FINED $10,000 for Travelstead's actions. He signed the order as the managing member. Got it? A Consent Order means they were accused of wrongdoing by the state. The issue of whether they admitted or denied formally their guilt. That has NOTHING to do with the issue of whether they were actually guilty as does an arraignment plea has nothing to do with actual guilt or innocence. The State found Travelstead and MTW guilty of violating state securities laws and issued a penalty. These are civil violations and do not have a criminal component, thus the fine is civil, not criminal in nature.

Mr. Ciaccio, your attempts to defend people you obviously know well are to be respected but the defense does not jibe with the facts and as I stated earlier, the defense of Travelstead sounds very similar to what Peters did in the NASA case.

Anonymous said...

I have read, reread, read again the order.

1. Yes, Travelstead is a respondent, both as an agent and as an individual.

2. No one admits to anything.

3. Accordingly the order only instructs the correction of actions taken and does not admit guilt on the part of any respondent.

While the defense by Mr. Ciaccio is certainly commendable, I do see your point. The actions taken were certainly questionable regarding their legality vis-a-vis securities violations. It does look like Mr. Travelstead did distance himself, whether it was soon enough is not really under the light of day that I can see.

My point earlier is that this is not a "smoking gun", rather it is a definite point of reference to behavior that can be utilized to prove a pattern.

And finally, maybe someone can illuminate me on one point....

a. Mr. T was an agent of MTW, he should not have been personally liable for a corporation.

b. Mr. T was listed in the order individually.


Anonymous said...

Kapt left the message above, apparently, I cannot post under that handle. KF is this a problem on my side? I was successful re: anon.

Kingfish said...

Mr. T also signed the consent order.

In other words, he agreed he and MTW were guilty of the violations.

Kaptain Kangaroo said...

That wasn't my question.


Kingfish said...

He was listed individually because according to the order, he was an actor in the selling of the unregistered securities. Apparently Mrs. Wolfe and her brother were not active but he was so therefor he was cited as he was the one breaking the law.

Anonymous said...

Got it.

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