LARA Bureau of Commercial Services Suspend Licenses of The Diversified Group Advisory Firm, LLC, its Agents and Investment Adviser Representatives

Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280
Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

December 7, 2012 - Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Bureau of Commercial Services (BCS) has suspended licenses and has ordered the following individuals to cease and desist from continuing to violate the Securities Act, including but not limited to engaging in the offer and sale of unregistered securities: Joel I. Wilson (Central Registration Depository "CRD" No. 5334955), Michael Kazee (CRD No. 5600975), Mary Faher (CRD No. 2852644), and Shawn Dicken (CRD  No. 4590563), of The Diversified Group Advisory Firm, LLC, d/b/a/ The Diversified Group, (Investment Adviser Registration Depository "IARD" No. 151960); W R Rice Financial Services, Inc., d/b/a/ Wilson and Kazee Diversified Financial Group, Inc., (CRD No. 36700); and the Diversified Group Partnership Management, LLC.   

 

An investigation by the BCS Securities Division found multiple violations of the Michigan Uniform Securities Act (2002), 2008 PA 551, MCL 451.2101 et seq. (Securities Act): 

 

  • Multiple acts of offering or selling unregistered securities to at least 85 individuals
  • Multiple acts of material misstatements of fact and material omissions in connection with the offer and sale of unregistered securities
  • Use of investors' funds to make unsecured loans in real estate ventures

 

In addition to Michigan, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have taken action against some of the named individuals. 

 

On November 20, 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) obtained an emergency court order from the Federal District Court in Bay City prohibiting Joel Wilson, Diversified Group Partnership Management, LLC, and American Realty Funds Corporation from altering or destroying documents and an order granting expedited discovery. The SEC also suspended trading in one of Wilson's companies, American Realty Funds.

 

Additionally, on November 15, 2012, the SEC filed a complaint against these parties alleging various violations of federal securities laws including diversion of investor's money for personal expenses and athletic team sponsorship and tickets; and to make unsecured loans to a real estate business. 

 

Questions for the Securities Division should be routed to: Bureau of Commercial Services, Regulatory Compliance Division, PO BOX 30018, Lansing, MI 48909; email at bcsfoia@michigan.gov; or by phone at 517-241-9267.

 

Questions regarding affected brokerage accounts should be routed to: Sterne Agee's Customer Liaison Representative at (800)778-6257 or through its website at http://www.sterneagee.com/ 

 

For more information about LARA, please visit www.michigan.gov/lara

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