State Representative Christina Hagan (R-Marlboro Twp.) today announced that she will sponsor legislation to update Ohio’s Securities Law and modify the ramifications for violations of the Ohio Securities Act. A local securities fraud incident in Summit County is the catalyst for this proposed state wide legislation.

The need for this update in securities law arose after a local investment firm, Fair Finance Company, was convicted of defrauding customers by convincing them to invest large sums of money with the company without the appropriate collateral to repay the investors. Fair Finance Company was using millions of investors’ dollars to furnish its own extravagant purchases ranging from private jets to gambling sprees. At the time of indictment, Fair Finance Company owed 5,200 investors over $200 million, making this incident the worst securities scandal in Ohio’s history.

Current Ohio law regarding securities fraud is insufficient in providing adequate protection to both investors and Ohio citizens. Ohio is one of only five states that does not authorize fining authority to securities regulators for violations of state securities law. Ohio law also fails to permit the costs and expenses of investigations to be recouped from law violators. The legislation being proposed by Representative Hagan intends to shore up these deficiencies in Ohio’s current law.

The specific implications of this legislation would provide fining authority to the Ohio Division of Securities, allow for expenses related to investigations to be recovered from law violators, and raise the overall level of protection for citizens against future fraudulent schemes regard securities investments.

“As we strive to improve our economic climate it is essential that we promote good business practices,” said Representative Hagan. “A positive business climate is necessary for both consumers and business owners to be proud to do business in our great state.”

Updates to the Ohio Securities Act will soon be introduced in the House by Representative Hagan, with companion legislation to be introduced in the Senate.


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