JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Secretary of State Jason Kander today shut down a scheme to defraud several members of the military in St. Louis. The cease and desist order alleges Michael and Shannon Burke of Texas and Missouri operated the scam from at least September 2009, in or from Missouri.
The order further alleges that the Burkes convinced three individuals to invest at least $9,500 collectively by promising unrealistically high returns. The investors’ funds were supposed to be used to trade penny stocks, however, funds were commingled with the Burkes’ personal and business funds and used, among other things, to make cash withdrawals and personal expenses at restaurants, convenience stores, and utility companies.
“There are few things worse than trying to steal from the men and women who commit their lives to protecting our country,” said Kander, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. “I encourage all Missourians to call the Investor Protection Hotline before turning over any of their hard-earned money.”
The Burkes provided investors with a spreadsheet purporting to state the profit other investors were earning as a result of their trading abilities. The Burkes told at least one investor the investment would triple in a matter of months. Another individual invested $5,000 and was promised $100,000 within two months.
The order seeks restitution, fines and the cost of the investigation.
Before making an investment decision, Missourians are encouraged to call Kander’s office at 1-800-721-7996 or visit www.MissouriSafeSavings.com.