Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s Securities Division entered into a consent order with Henry T. Hammond after he sold unregistered, non-exempt securities to three Missouri residents.

The order also states that Hammond, from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, made untrue statements, omitted material facts and engaged in fraud.

Hammond used a mutual friend to solicit a member of a Kansas City-area church to invest in a product called the Maranatha Platform, which promised “fast returns.” Hammond claimed the Maranatha investment had no risk and would be used to support humanitarian projects, including the construction of churches throughout the world. Hammond allegedly told the parishioner an investment of $400,000 would generate up to $1,000,000 per month for 10 months. Over the course of several months, the parishioner invested approximately $420,000 with Hammond.

After the Maranatha Platform failed to produce the promised rate of return, Hammond solicited the church member to invest with his company in a hotel project. The individual was allegedly promised a 10 percent stake in the hotel ownership for an investment of $676,275 and would receive a return of approximately $1,500,000 over 14 months. Hammond also sought and received more than $120,000 from the parishioner’s 81-year-old mother and 47-year-old brother.

On April 30, 2014, Hammond was indicted by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri for, among other things, wire fraud, bank fraud and unlawful monetary transactions. On March 8, 2018, Hammond pled guilty to one count of wire fraud and was sentenced to one year and one day in prison.

“Scam artists will often do whatever it takes to get unsuspecting people’s money, including violating the trust people place in their faith communities,” Securities Commissioner David M. Minnick. “Missourians expect the money they give to religious causes to support charitable activities, not fraudulent agents.”

Hammond will pay restitution of $511,325 as part of his criminal sentence in federal court and is barred from registering as an investment adviser, investment adviser representative, broker-dealer or agent in the state of Missouri.

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