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Thread: Teenager Swindled Seniors with Stark Investments

  1. #1
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    Teenager Swindled Seniors with Stark Investments

    Reported this morning by PPBlog.

    Stark Innovations.JPG

    NC teen scams $130,000 from investors using Facebook, other meth - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

    NC teen scams $130,000 from investors using Facebook, other methods, authorities say
    Posted: Nov 05, 2014 5:31 PM CST
    Updated: Nov 05, 2014 6:13 PM CST
    By Rod OvertonCONNECT

    An image of Topping from Facebook and of the Stark Innovations office from Facebook
    An image of Topping from Facebook and of the Stark Innovations office from Facebook
    OAK ISLAND, NC - Detectives with the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office, along with special agents with the NC Department of Secretary of the State, have arrested an Oak Island teen on fraud charges, sheriff's officials said.

    David Alan Topping, 19, of Ocean Drive in Oak Island, was charged Tuesday with misdemeanor solicitation to obtain property by false pretense, felony obtaining property by false pretense for items valued over $100,000, and felony securities fraud, Brunswick County Sheriff's officials said in a press release.

    Items obtained during search warrants executed at 1433 N. Howe Street and 103 E. 8th Street, both in Southport, indicate that between June 1, 2014 and November 4, 2014, Topping solicited approximately 20 individuals to invest in Stark Innovations, LLC, authorities say.

    "A joint investigation with BCSO and the NC Secretary of State revealed this to be an investment scheme meant to defraud these individuals out of their funds," officials said.

    Over $130,000 in fraudulent investments were obtained by Topping, investigators say.

    “Mr. Topping solicited investors through a variety of means, from cold calls to pitches on social media sites including Facebook and LinkedIn,” Secretary of State, Elaine Marshall said.

    “This is why it is so important to check out all investment offers you see before making any commitments. Calling our Securities Division would have revealed that Mr. Topping was never licensed to sell securities, and that in itself should always raise a huge red flag for potential investors.”

    On Topping's LinkedIn profile, he asks for investments and promises a return of 6.24 percent per month as his company uses "the investments to fund freight and other expenses for international trade which, in turn, generates you cash."

    Topping claims his background and expertise is in "International Trade and Development. Handling large shipments and import agent for various large companies across the world including Bose, Lifeproof, and ZIIIRO," according to the LinkedIn profile.

    WBTW found the Stark Innovations Facebook and Google+ pages in which a Visa debit card was also pitched. The card promised a return of 2.12 percent per month on money that was left in an account for at least a month.

    Elsewhere, an entire website was found for the Stark Visa Card promising FDIC insurance, along with a 1-800 "customer service" phone system, which went to a recording when WBTW made attempts to speak to a live person.

    The Stark Visa Card was linked and promoted on the Stark Innovations Facebook page, which was linked from Topping's Facebook page under "employment."

    There were several photos found of the Stark Innovations LLC offices and of an apparent company SUV. The Stark Innovations LLC website is somewhat barren, with only a form for a log-in and password.

    The LinkedIn profile pitches that there is "no risk" in the investments.

    "What if I told you I could guarantee a 6.24% monthly ROA (return on investment) with absolutely no risk. You would think I was crazy, but it's real and anyone can start earning today," the page says. "Yes, guaranteed with no catches."

    In addition to a 6+ percent return to investors, the company also claims that it makes significant donations to local charities.

    "As much as we love growing here at Stark Innovations, we also believe in giving back to our community. Because of this, we donate 5% of ALL profits to local charities in Brunswick County!" the Facebook page profile said.

    Topping is currently being detained in the Brunswick County Detention Facility under a $250,000 bond. The joint investigation is on-going.

    The NC Secretary of State Office urges anyone considering an investment to call the NC Secretary of State's Securities Division at 1-800-688-4507 to make sure the person offering the investment, and the investment itself, are properly registered.
    Don't get ripped off!! Stay informed!

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  3. #2
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    Re: Teenager Swindled Seniors with Stark Investments

    His Facebook pages shows he is in a relationship with Marshall Law.

    Marshall seems to be another teenage boy but Topping's FB page shows a cute girl with him.

    marshall law.jpg

    from Marshall Law's FB page...

    Wonder what their parents are thinking about now.
    Don't get ripped off!! Stay informed!

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