John Bullis: Only use registered brokers
Glenn C. Mueller is an alleged scam artist who operated nationwide for more than 40 years. He was not a registered broker, but acted as if he was a registered broker.
It is reported that he offered an alternative investment he called an alternative to CDs (certificates of deposit). He promised the investment would pay between 3 and 6 percent per month.
That sounds like a higher rate of return than is normal or reasonable. That high rate of return should have been a warning sign — this is too good to be true.
Now four states (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Illinois and New Jersey) have brought complaints against him. They have charged him with selling unregistered securities in real estate ventures.
He apparently employed a few people who looked for possible investors. Those people were paid commissions, but Mueller was not a broker-dealer that was registered in any state or with the U.S. Securities Commission. The Massachusetts complaint indicated he paid as much as $26,500 as a commission for finding possible investors.
He had at least 42 real estate corporations and limited partnerships of which he seems to be the only owner.
Maybe the complaints by the various states will result in the court ordering him to pay restitution to the investors. However, the money to pay restitution may not be available.
The moral of this story is to only deal with registered brokers. If the proposal sounds too good to be true, it probably is not true.
We have many reputable stock brokers and many reputable real estate brokers and sales agents. It is probably better to use those folks when you are making investments.
We will watch the news for the next few years. It will probably take at least that long for the courts to look into the entire matter and make an order for paying the investors back (if there is enough to pay them). Usually, this kind of scam does not have enough assets to pay back what would was invested. The funds are frequently used for personal expenses (luxury living, etc) of the promoter.
Did you hear, “Several youngsters were watching a doctor operate on a TV medical show. ‘Why does he wear a mask?’ asked one.
‘That’s so if he makes a mess of it, the patient won’t know who did it,’ reasoned another.”
John Bullis is a certified public accountant, personal financial specialist and certified senior adviser who has served Carson City for 45 years. He is founder emeritus of Bullis and Company CPAs.