A Colorado Springs company has been barred from selling securities, according to news from the Colorado Securities Commission.

Steven Kerbel and Rio National Insurance Services of Colorado Springs received an injunctive order Aug. 11. The defendants are also required to pay more than $790,000 in restitution.

 

The case stems from a June 2015 decision against Rio National and Kerbel, when Securities Commissioner Gerald Rome settled a cease-and-desist order that required restitution of $800,719.45, which went largely unpaid. The new case is a permanent and immediate injunction on both Kerbel and Rio National, according to the state’s Securities Commission — and a requirement to finish making payments to former investors.

According to the district court complaint, Rio National operated against state law when it employed unlicensed representatives to solicit and sell unregistered, non-exempt securities to at least 15 investors in Colorado and Kansas. The investments totaled around $1.1 million in promissory notes, which were renewed when the company didn’t return the principal in time. The complaint says that the agents sold illegal securities to elderly clients, claiming a return of between 8 and 10 percent. The agent did not disclose that the securities were unregistered.

“In 2014, following the issuance of a cease and desist order by the Securities Commissioner, defendants Kerbel and Rio National acknowledged violating the licensing provisions of the Colorado Securities Act, and committed to repaying the principal investments of these clients along with accrued interest by June of the following year,” the report said.

- Advertisement -

Most of the money was never paid, and the state agency took the case to district court.

“Unfortunately this is not the first case where we have had to file a district court action because defendants failed to meet their restitution obligation,” Rome said. “We take promises to repay investors seriously.Violation of a cease and desist order will not go ignored.”

And if Kerbel or Rio National do not follow up, Rome said they could be found in contempt of court.