According to reports, Milkie/Ferguson Investments Inc., a small broker-dealer that was a big seller of fraudulent Provident Royalties LLC private placements, has shut down.
Apparently, the vast majority of the registered representatives with Milkie/Ferguson will transfer to Berthel Fisher & Co. Financial Services Inc.
Milkie/Ferguson filed its broker-dealer withdrawal request with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. on July 26.
According to U.S. Bankruptcy Court filings, Milkie/Ferguson reps sold at least $4.1 million of Provident Royalties preferred shares. That made it the eleventh largest firm that sold those shares.
The figure may be incomplete, however, as the bankruptcy filing counted only about half of the $485 million in Provident Royalties shares sold by independent broker-dealers to investors.
Selling Provident Royalties preferred shares from 2006 to 2009 turned into a death warrant for dozens of independent broker-dealers. At least 23 of the 60 broker-dealers that sold Provident Royalties shares are out of business, many of them swamped by the cost of fighting clients’ lawsuits related to the fraud.
With about 40 brokers and $6.6 million in revenue last year, Milkie/Ferguson was a small firm. Such firms are having a difficult time staying in business due to several factors: equity markets that scare retail investors, rising costs of technology, increased fees from regulators such as Finra and the fallout from failed investments such as Provident Royalties, Medical Capital, Desert Capital REIT, and Behringer Harvard.
The foregoing information, which is publicly available, is being provided by The White Law Group. The White Law Group is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, and investor protection law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Boca Raton, Florida.
For more information on The White Law Group, visit http://www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.