On Thursday, Massachusetts securities regulators fined and censured Conquest Capital Partners, Conquest Phoenix Fund and Conquest Capital co-founder Ryan Gadles for selling privately placed securities to investors, who were urged to roll their 401(k) investments into a self-directed IRA.
According to regulators, the parties offered investors the chance to buy a home in the Phoenix area, renovate it and sell it for a profit via funds placed into self-directed IRAs. The state has ordered them to give investors a refund for the private placement.
“Investors should be on guard against efforts to steer them towards self-directed IRAs,” said William Galvin, secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ securities division, in a press release. “While they are legitimate, they can be used by unprincipled promoters to deceive investors as to the safety of the investment.”
In September 2012, Gadles told the investors that he hadn’t raised the minimum amount of funds needed to buy and flip a home, $110,000. Earlier, he’d told them that they would earn 8% annually and could expect a projected three-year return of 13% to 17%.
Massachusetts regulators say the investors were never told that the deal would fall apart if the minimum capital needed to purchase a property was not raised.