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Thursday, May 22, 2014

State shuts down Sen. Thom ("I call them Moron Mondays") Goolsby's investment biz.

Posted by on Thu, May 22, 2014 at 12:14 PM

In the "Yes, We Did See That Coming" category, Sen. Thom Goolsby, a Wilmington Republican, got whacked today by the N.C. Secretary of State's office for misleading investors. Goolsby and his investment advisory firm in Wilmington were put out of business.

Sen. Thom Goolsby
  • Sen. Thom Goolsby
As part of a Final Consent Order, Goolsby and his partner in the firm were personally stripped of their status as registered investment advisors and told not to try it again for a minimum of 10 years.

For the rest of the year, Goolsby remains in the Senate, though he is not running for re-election in November. He did, however, threaten — er, say — that he'd be seeking "other opportunities to serve in the future." His fellow Republican, Senate President Phil Berger, called Goolsby the epitome of a public servant, which has the unfortunate ring of truth these days for the all-powerful GOP. A lawyer, Goolsby had his eye on being state attorney general, I've heard.

Goolsby is remembered in these parts for his denunciation of Moral Monday participants. He called them "Moron Mondays." He perhaps thought his clients in Wilmington were morons, too, because he lured them in with a classic "can't go wrong" investment strategy worthy of P.T. Barnum.

As described by the Secretary of State:

The order was issued after Secretary of State Division of Securities investigators found that the company and the two investment advisers marketed an investment strategy they termed the “10-20-50 Plan.” This plan supposedly invested clients’ money in a way where investments losing more than 10 percent would be sold to prevent further loss, investments earning more than 20 percent would be sold to capture the gains, and no more than 50 percent of the clients’ accounts would be invested in securities at any one time.

Investigators determined that this plan frequently was not followed, resulting in greater client losses than if failing investments had been sold once they suffered a 10 percent loss. Investigators also found clients were not told their money was being invested in a way that was different than being advertised.

Here's the complete press release from the Secretary of State's office:

consentorder.pdf

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In a consent order, Goolsby and his partner are stripped of their licenses to be investment advisers because they misled clients.

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