Commission Halts Unregistered Activity by Universal Resources Management, LLC, Keith Bankston, and Justen A. Cookus
HARRISBURG, Pa., July 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To halt the offer and sale of unregistered securities in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Securities Commission (Commission) issued a Summary Order to Cease and Desist against Universal Resources Management, LLC (URM), an entity, and Keith Bankston (Bankston), and Justin A. Cookus, both individuals, all with an address in Lauderhill, Florida. URM maintained a web site (Web Site) at www.UniversalResourcesManagement.com and URM was offering for sale units of limited liability company membership interests (Units) in URM. Bankston was the owner of URM, and Cookus was an account executive for URM.
In or about June 2012, Cookus cold-called at least one Pennsylvania resident (PA Resident) and offered for sale the Units. Cookus told the PA Resident that investors in URM were receiving 8-10% returns on their investments, and Cookus directed the PA Resident to the Web Site, which contained offering materials (Materials). According to Cookus, URM operated iron ore mines in Chile.
The same month, Cookus contacted the PA Resident by telephone, and during the discussion, Bankston subsequently joined the telephone call. Bankston told the PA Resident that Cookus would receive a commission for his sales of the Units, and Bankston told the PA Resident that the PA Resident would not have to participate in the management of URM following the purchase of a Unit.
According to the Materials, URM "is a private company in the mining business;" URM is offering for sale 500 Units at a price of $2,000 per Unit; and URM is seeking a total capitalization of $1,000,000.
The PA Resident had no substantive, pre-existing relationship with URM, Bankston, or Cookus. The PA Resident was not an accredited investor under Rule 501 of Regulation D and did not have sufficient knowledge and experience in financial and business matters to be capable of evaluating the merits and risks of the investment.
The Commission ordered Universal Resources Management, LLC, Keith Bankston, and Justen A. Cookus to stop offering and selling the Units in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in violation of the Pennsylvania Securities Act of 1972, and in particular Sections 201 and 301 thereof.
Any further solicitations or sales made by URM, Bankston, or Cookus or their affiliates in Pennsylvania will constitute further violations of the 1972 Act. Any person who is solicited by or has information about URM, Bankston, or Cookus is asked to immediately notify the Pennsylvania Securities Commission by calling the toll-free line 800-600-0007 (PA only); in Harrisburg (717) 787-8061; in Pittsburgh: (412) 565-5083; or, in Philadelphia: (215) 560-2088.
CONTACT: Stefanie Z. Hamilton, Counsel, Division of Enforcement, Litigation & Compliance, +1-215-560-2088
SOURCE Pennsylvania Securities Commission (PSC)Back to top