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SOS accuses GS Partners Global of selling fraudulent investments in Mississippi

Secretary of State Michael Watson speaks at the Mississippi Economic Council's annual Hobnob event in 2022 (Photo courtesy of the MEC)

Secretary of State Michael Watson has issued a cease and desist order against GS Partners Global claiming that the company is offering and selling fraudulent investments.

The action accuses GS Partners Global, Chairman of the Board Josip Heit, and the company’s Mississippi representative Richard L. Shoto of offering and selling fraudulent certificates tied to digital assets, as well as investments in a staking pool in a proprietary metaverse.

According to the order, GS Partners is currently marketing securities called “MetaCertificates” that are tied to digital assets. Investors allegedly purchase the certificates by paying GS Partners and then continue to pay GS Partners to unlock the certificates’ features.

The features purportedly increase the value of the certificate and activate the payment of weekly and monthly profits. In some cases, investors that unlock streams of income must continue to pay money to prevent the features from lapsing, according to the order.

“This action is representative of the importance of continuous communication between the secretary of state’s office and the public on how to identify, avoid, and report potentially fraudulent activity,” Watson said. “If an offer is described as risk-free, guaranteed, and very lucrative, please protect yourself by calling our Securities Team for verification.”

Investments were promoted through a multilevel marketing scheme, numerous social media accounts, and video conferences.

Shoto promoted GS Partners investments in Mississippi, recommending the purchase of GS Partners certificates. In doing so, GS Partners and Shoto acted as unregistered investment advisers or investment adviser representatives.

The order prohibits the named parties from further offers and sales of unregistered securities as well as acting as unregistered broker-dealers, agents, investment advisers, or investment adviser representatives.

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