Jefferson City, Mo. — Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s Securities Division ordered Yifei Lu to cease and desist after he allegedly committed fraud by providing investment advice as an unregistered agent.
Since at least Dec. 6, 2017, Lu provided unregistered investment advice to individuals across the U.S., including one Missouri resident. Lu, based in the San Francisco area, touted his personal success in the stock market, soliciting clients through social media, forums and chat apps, including an app that provides tips and life advice to Chinese immigrants.
Lu required clients to pay a fee of $300 for his advice, instructing clients to deposit the funds in a PayPal account. At no time did Lu disclose to the Missouri resident that he wasn’t registered to give investment advice in Missouri.
“Affinity scammers prey upon members of certain ethnic, religious or professional groups by building trust with those individuals who share the same affiliations,” Ashcroft said. “If you have any doubt at all about the person offering you an investment opportunity or advice, contact our office before investing.”
The division ordered Lu to show cause why he should not be ordered to pay over $75,000 in civil penalties, disgorgement, interest and investigation costs.
Ashcroft urges all investors to know the risks. If you have any questions about an investment opportunity or wish to check the background and registration status of a financial adviser, please call the toll-free investor protection hotline at 800-721-7996, or go online to www.missouriprotectsinvestors.com to file a complaint.