OFIR to Hold Investment Scams Training for Law Enforcement

Training part of OFIR’s multi-pronged effort to protect consumers from investment and securities scams

November 20, 2008
Contact: Jason Moon 517-335-1700

LANSING - The Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR) has developed a free training for Michigan law enforcement officials, “Securities 101: Recognizing Securities Products and Investment Crimes,” which will help them identify the most common types of securities fraud, how these schemes are structured and marketed, how to spot a questionable investment deal, and how OFIR’s Securities Section can assist them in their efforts. The first sessions will be offered Tuesday, December 9, 2008, at Lansing Community College.

"Effective consumer protection and securities oversight require Michigan to build the capacity to enforce both civil and criminal law," OFIR Commissioner Ken Ross said.  "Providing law enforcement with high quality training on the ‘nuts and bolts’ of building a securities fraud case is an essential building block in our overall strategy of stepping up consumer protection across Michigan."

The law enforcement securities training is part of OFIR’s multi-pronged effort to protect consumers from investment and securities scams.  Last month, OFIR and AARP Michigan announced the start of their “Free Lunch Seminar Monitor” program, which gives individuals an opportunity to fight back against unscrupulous promoters by reporting questionable investment practices in their communities to state securities authorities for investigation.  OFIR has also planned a securities training for Michigan prosecutors that will take place early next year.

The impetus for Securities 101 was the recognition that many law enforcement officials would benefit from a basic understanding of securities laws and how the use and misuse of the concepts related to securities and investing lend themselves to new and unique ways of committing fraud and theft. OFIR has developed Securities 101 and related reference materials to provide law enforcement officers with a basic understanding of some common financial instruments (“securities”) which are often used in schemes to defraud people.

Law enforcement officials interested in attending the free training should contact Peg Beckwith in OFIR’s Securities Section (517) 241-5519.