Colorado Springs investment company ordered to cease operations
The order, which prohibits Nickerson and Third Century II from engaging in the offer or sale of unregistered securities and from engaging in business as an investment adviser, representative, or broker without a license, followed a complaint filed by Colorado Securities Commissioner Gerald Rome of the Division of Securities, part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). The Commissioner was represented in the matter by Assistant Attorney General Cathern Smith.
In the complaint, Commissioner Rome alleged that Nickerson, through Third Century II, operated an investment advisory firm and acted as an investment adviser representative by managing the investment portfolios of Third Century “members” or “partners,” who were required to invest at least $50 a month.
Nickerson would charge investors 10 percent on the first $3,000 invested, plus annual compensation via either percentage fees or extra fund share allocations. However, Nickerson failed to become properly licensed with the state of Colorado, and furthermore, was offering and selling securities which were neither registered nor exempt from registration with the state.
“At the time of our investigation, Mr. Nickerson had 19 clients in Colorado that we are aware of, and was managing assets for them, as well as for out of state folks with assets under management nearing $10 million,” Rome stated. “Managing investor money must not be done off the radar of regulatory agencies. Proper oversight is necessary to prevent the harm that results when money, like retirement funds, is lost due to fraud or incompetence, and often can never be replaced.”In agreeing to the entry of the order, Nickerson also agreed to liquidate his company by selling all his investments and returning all investment monies back to his clients. In addition, under the terms of the agreement, Nickerson will have an opportunity to properly apply for investment adviser licensure with the Division.
The Division of Securities can be contacted at (303) 894-2320 or online at dora.colorado.gov/dos.