Investment Fraud Probe Expands to Raleigh
Posted October 8, 2007 8:35 p.m. EDT
Updated October 9, 2007 12:06 a.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — A Charlotte man is being investigated for fraud after authorities became suspicious that a mortgage investment scheme was not as good a deal as advertised.
Search warrants released in Wake County indicate Gary C. Keever, 52, has come under scrutiny in a nearly yearlong investigation of a multi-state investment fraud case.
Investigators said Keever promised to buy and sell mortgages at a guaranteed return of at least 10 percent per quarter. His companies included Mortgage Holding Group, The Advance Group and Level One Capital Services.
At least one of the people who bought into Keever's scheme gave him more than $171,000, according to the search warrants.
Investigators listed the addresses of three Raleigh bank branches in the warrants.
"The pattern of activity revealed that Keever was converting investor funds to his own personal use and benefit," the search warrant reads.
Search warrants said his businesses were not legitimate: Keever was not licensed, his companies were not registered, and no record exists of their buying or selling real estate in Mecklenburg County.
Keever could not be reached for comment Monday. A background check shows he was convicted in Mecklenburg County in 1995 of obtaining property by false pretenses in 1991 and of larceny in 1992. He was placed on probation for both offenses, according to state Department of Correction records.
Secretary of State Elaine Marshall would not comment on the Keever investigation, but she warned that investment schemes are getting more sophisticated.
"People that buy into things that going to pay 10 percent a month or a 20 percent overall – Folks, there aren't investments like that out there," she said.
Marshall said her office is getting more aggressive investigating such schemes. In 2005 and 2006, 57 investment companies were ordered to stop operating immediately. Criminal action was taken against two companies.
In Rocky Mount, Joe Jones got 20 years in prison for bilking investors out of $8 million. Records show his license to sell investments ended in 2002.
The owner of Posh! at Five Points, an antique store, is under investigation for involvement in a pyramid scheme. Court records show Patricia Jacob has a criminal past in investment schemes.
In both cases, as in the Keever case, a call to the Secretary of State's office would have shown the people doing the selling were not licensed in the state.
"When you are silent, you are a scam artist's best friend," Marshall said.
Anyone who believes they have information on investment fraud can call the Securities Division at 919-733-3924 or toll-free at 1-800-688-4507.