Broker's Clients Want Company to Refund Investments
Posted March 20, 2007 7:13 p.m. EDT
Updated March 21, 2007 9:52 a.m. EDT
Rocky Mount, N.C. — People who say they were ripped off by a Rocky Mount investment broker are fighting to get their money back.
Joe Jones is accused of defrauding hundreds of Nash County clients out of $8 million. In 2005, a grand jury handed up 100 separate indictments against Jones, who investigators say put clients' money in an illegal pyramid scheme disguised as a Charlotte concert promoter called BAB Productions.
The clients can't get any money back from Jones, so now some are going after the company under which he operated, Investors Capital Corporation. An arbitration hearing was held Tuesday at a Raleigh hotel for 12 people who say they lost all their savings to Jones.
“You see a great big light at the end of the tunnel,” said Mary Henderson, who told WRAL she lost $180,000. “That was my retirement that was for me to live on for the rest of my life. Now I have to go back to work.”
Chicago-based attorney Howard Prossnitz is representing Henderson and 11 other clients in arbitration against Investors Capital.
“(Jones) is going to trial next month on criminal charges,” Prossnitz said. “We're not optimistic that we could ever get money from him. The firm should have caught what he was doing. They had a duty to supervise him.”
“I had heard that Investor Capital was a good company, so that's why I went to Joe Jones,” Henderson said.
Attorneys for Investors Capital have no comment for now, but their line of questioning early in the arbitration suggests they believe their company name never appeared on any BAB contracts before authorities shut down Jones' office.
Because this is an investor dispute, clients are required to go through arbitration instead of the court system. The hearing is expected to last at least a week.