Colorado Springs investment firm agrees to sanctions related to unlicensed securities sales
DENVER — Colorado Securities Commissioner Gerald Rome announced today that he has entered three orders finalizing a settlement with Colorado Springs based ASI Capital, and various firms and individuals, who participated in the illegal offering of securities by unlicensed individuals in Colorado.
According to the agreements settling this administrative proceeding, ASI Capital raised more than $12.5 million over a two year period between 2012 to 2014, offering promissory notes to approximately 130 investors that promised returns of between 8-10 percent.
The offering of these notes were not properly registered and were sold primarily through an unlicensed broker-dealer, Accelerated Wealth, who also employed unlicensed sales agents. As part of the basis for settlement agreement, the Commissioner concluded that Accelerated Wealth, located in Colorado Springs, sold unregistered securities through unlicensed sales agents.
Also agreeing to sanctions were Bill Walton and his firm, Walton Financial, and Chris Abeyta and his firm, High Trust Financial and Consulting, all of Colorado Springs. Walton and Abeyta are both part-owners of ASI Capital and Accelerated Wealth. According to the agreements, Abeyta sold unregistered securities without a license, and received significant commissions and fees. Walton and Abeyta and their firms have agreed to the entry of a cease and desist order and the payment of $300,000 to the Division of Securities, part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA).
In addition, Sean Hawking and Clement Borkowski, co-owners SkiHawk Capital, a licensed Colorado investment adviser firm, all of Colorado Springs, were sanctioned. Borkowski and Hawkins are also part owners and managers of ASI Capital. The Commissioner’s findings state that SkiHawk Capital violated rules by filing misleading reports and failing to report custody of client funds. In addition to the entry of a cease and desist order, as part of the settlement, ASI Capital, Hawkins and Borkowski have agreed to make a rescission offer to all investors by offering to repurchase the notes it sold to investors. The offer to repurchase the notes from investors will be made by April 14. In addition, these Respondents have agreed to pay the Division $50,000.
As part of the settlement, all Respondents have neither admitted nor denied any of the allegations contained within the settlement documents.
“Proper licensure is a priority for the Division as it ensures a high degree of consumer confidence in that only those who are deemed competent may practice and the public is alerted to those who may practice by the titles used,” stated Commissioner Rome. “We encourage investors to verify that offerings are also properly registered with us. These requirements are in place to protect investors. We pursue those types of actions in an attempt to encourage proper licensure by firms so that anyone who is providing investment advice or selling securities is authorized to do so.”