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CONSUMER ALERT: Don't be Fooled - this Jewell's a Fake

October 30, 2006
Contact: OFIS (toll-free) 1-877-999-6442
Media/Press calls:  Kathy Fagan - 517-335-1700

OFIS warns consumers to be on the lookout for seller of fake securities

LANSING –Office of Financial and Insurance Services (OFIS) Commissioner Linda A. Watters is warning consumers about an investment fraud that may be targeted at residents in southeast Michigan.  

Information obtained by OFIS indicates that the Kentucky Office of Financial Institutions (KOFI) issued a voluntary permanent injunction against an individual identified as Jewell Robbins (also known as Jewell Burgin) in June 2006 for offering and selling unregistered investment interests in a legal judgment (defined as securities under Kentucky law), using unregistered agents to sell such securities, and failing to disclose material facts to investors about the investment.

According to the KOFI injunction, Robbins was prohibited from offering or selling investment securities without KOFI approval and was required to assist KOFI in identifying all her investors and to furnish the agency with her banking information.

Just last week, KOFI filed a contempt of court motion against Robbins for allegedly breaking the agreement to stop selling unregistered securities.

“According to the Kentucky Office of Financial Institutions, Jewell Robbins is believed to have engaged in a long-running scheme to defraud investors, and has been ordered to cease from these activities,” Commissioner Watters said. “We now have reason to believe she may be offering or selling, through her agents, unregistered securities to Michigan residents and we want to warn the public.” 

In a press release issued in August, KOFI disclosed that Robbins began selling “interests in litigation” in 1985. The idea was that investors would share in awards from four lawsuits filed in Texas over rights to oil interests comprising part of the Spindletop oil field. However, the lawsuits were dismissed.

Investors told KOFI officials that Robbins claimed the government or a certified public accountant was holding money for disbursement. Robbins has been unable to provide OFI representatives with any documentation to support this claim.

“Our office is seeking information from citizens who may have been contacted by Robbins or any of her agents,” Watters said. “We urge anyone who has been asked by Robbins to invest money in a similar scheme to contact our office.”

Consumers with any information or questions regarding Jewell Robbins should contact OFIS toll-free at (877) 999-6442.

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