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Yesterday we noticed a commercial for what appears to be an investment firm called Wall Street Investment Bankers Inc.
Aside from the odd name and extremely long URL for their website, the company failed to clearly explain what it actually does.
The advertisement promises that you can earn $20,000 to $200,000 a month.
The rest of the pitch is equally implausible.
“Do you have a credit score of 670 or better? Then real estate is the perfect fit for you. A new investor with Wall Street Investment Bankers can make at least, but not limited to, $20,000 a month by partnering up and providing their credit. There is no upfront or investment cost. Wall Street Investment Bankers assumes all financial obligations for all projects. No down payment. maximise your profits. We break down the buying process at get you cash at closing. And triple your profits. Call now or email your resume to be part of this life changing opportunity.”
We saw the advertisement on CNBC. You can watch it right here.
A spokesman for CNBC says the ad is a local ad that was not sold by their ad sales people. So it is not fair to hold it against them. Time Warner Cable, the local cable provider in our area, could not immediately comment on the ad.
So who are these guys and what do they do? The advertisement lists a phone number, an email address, and a website.
The website is mysterious. It explains almost nothing about the firm.
Here’s the text for the home page:
We hope you can find everything you need. Wall Street Investment Bankers is focused on providing high-quality service and customer satisfaction – we will do everything we can to meet your expectations. We can help with all your banking and investment needs.
Call Us Today!
With a variety of offerings to choose from, we’re sure you’ll be happy working with us. Look around our website and if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact us. We hope to see you again!
Check back later for new updates to our website. There’s much more to come!
Their “About Us” page gives the names of five officers: Darryl Wade (President), Robert Doucett (Vice President), Darryl Rumsey (Treasurer), Carlo Navarette (Operations Manager), and Kate Arney (Investment Relations Coordinator).
“Our company is based on the belief that our customers’ needs are of the utmost importance. Our entire team is committed to meeting those needs. As a result, a high percentage of our business is from repeat customers and referrals,” the page claims. “Let us show you the Wall Street difference!”
Internet searches for those five names turned up nothing relevant. That is very odd for an investment firm that aimed at the general public. Not one of these people is registered as FINRA members. The firm is not registered with the National Futures Association, FINRA or the Securities and Exchange Commission. So how exactly are they helping with investment and banking needs? Do these people even exist?
A search of corporate entities in New York and Delaware, a frequent home to New York based companies, revealed no registrations for a company called “Wall Street Investment Bankers Inc.”
The address listed on the site for the firm is “110 Wall Street Ave. Ste 1100.” That’s not a real address. There is no Wall Street Ave in New York. But if you delete the “Ave” part, it turns out you will find yourself at 110 Wall Street, Suite 1100. That is the address for a company called Your Wall Street Address. It provides mailing addresses and phone numbers for companies located elsewhere. It is basically a mail drop and an answering service for other companies.
The person who answered the phone at Your Wall Street address said that there were no other companies registered with them under the names “Wall Street Investment Bankers.”
We called the listed number, (888) 570-4756. It rang directly through to a voicemail message saying we could leave a message for “Concord Investment Group.” We discovered that there once was a company called Concord that listed its address was as 110 Wall Street, Suite 1100.
On a second call to the number, we were put on hold forever. On the third and fourth calls, we were told that “Bob” couldn’t come to the phone. The person on the phone, who appears to be at an answering service, said they didn’t have a last name for “Bob.” Presumably this is Robert Doucett, who is named as president.
None of our messages were returned.
Larry Dyekman, a spokesman for the National Futures Association, says NFA had not heard of Wall Street Investment Bankers, Inc. but confirmed Concord was shut down for deceptive practices. “We did throw them out of the futures business,” says Dyekman.
But Dyekman says the Wall Street Investment Bankers Inc. connection to Concord isn’t clear: a background check on the five staff members listed on the website found that none of them had ever been registered in the futures industry.
If there is a significant connection between Wall Street Investment Bankers Inc and Concord — and remember, Concord is the name on the answering machine — investors should be wary.
CNN reported on Concord Trading Corp. in November 2002 in a TV story about commodity scams exploiting a possible war against Iraq and sales pitches urging customers to invest in risky heating oil or currency futures:
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let’s get into our top recommendation at this time, which is heating oil.
BROOKS JACKSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This promoter said a five cent rise in heating oil prices could turn a $10,000 investment into $21,000. Invest $25,000 and…
UINDENTIFIED MALE: A five cent increase in the value of that option would represent a $52,000 return.
JACKSON: That was the Concord Trading Group, and what really happened is this: 95 per cent of Concord’s customers lost money, according to the National Futures Association. Altogether, Concord’s customers lost $50 million in just three years, but Concord made $28 million in commissions before it was put out of business too.
In April of 2002, Crain’s Cleveland Business discussed the massive complaints against “Concorde Trading Group:”
NFA records show Concorde, which was formed in 1988, was involved in a total of 108 Commodity Futures Trading Commission reparations cases – complaints filed by investors with the CFTC, a government agency that regulates the commodity futures markets. The records do not indicate when any of the complaints were filed.
Records also showed three regulatory actions by the NFA and one by the CFTC against Concorde.
Phil Raleigh, an attorney with the NFA, said Concorde was shut down through NFA legal actions about two years ago.
Mr. Raleigh wouldn’t comment on the nature of the any of the cases against Concorde but said, “It’s fair to say, if you look through our membership, 108 reparations cases, very few firms would have that.”
A WHOIS search of wallstreetinvestmentbankersinc.com reveals that the domain is registered in the Netherlands:
Current Registrar: TUCOWS INC.
IP Address: 220.127.116.11 (ARIN & RIPE IP search)
IP Location: NL(NETHERLANDS)-LIMBURG-VENLO
Lock Status: clientTransferProhibited
DMOZ no listings
Y! Directory: see listings
Data as of: 23-Apr-2008
So what does Wall Street Investment Bankers Inc do? What is their connection to Concord? Who are the people listed as officers? Right now there are many unanswered questions. We’re continuing to research the firm.
(Additional reporting by Lawrence Delevingne)