Texas securities regulator cracks down on firm selling pension streams

Company accused of making “misleading and deceiving” statements to investors

Feb 2, 2016 @ 3:05 pm

By Christine Idzelis

Texas securities commissioner John Morgan has ordered a firm based in Mississippi to stop selling investments in pension benefits it acquires from federal government employees and military members.

The state's securities board said on Monday that Mr. Morgan issued an “emergency cease and desist order” requiring Andrew Gamber, of Jonesboro, Ark. and his Jackson, Miss.-based SoBell Corp. to stop selling its “Pension Income Stream Program” in Texas.

SoBell executes agreements with the recipients of pension benefits to sell their income stream to investors for at least $35,000 to more than $1 million, offering annual returns of 7% to 8%, according to the statement. People who sell their benefits are often veterans and disabled persons, and may be solicited when they're in “financial distress,” the Texas securities board said.

SoBell and Mr. Gamber have engaged in fraud by selling unregistered securities while making “misleading and deceiving” statements to investors, the regulator charged.

Mr. Gamber also failed to disclose sanctions that state securities regulators imposed against him from 2013 to 2014 in Arkansas, Pennsylvania, California and New Mexico, according to the order.

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