A recent investigation by Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s Securities Division led to the federal indictment and arrest of a Clinton man involving a $4.7 million investment fraud scheme.

Man in handcuffs

A press release from Ashcroft's office, says the FBI, in coordination with the secretary of state’s office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri, arrested Cameron J. Hager, of Clinton, MO on Tuesday (Apr 3).

“Today’s indictment and arrest is a signal that here in Missouri we follow the law and protect our investors,” Ashcroft said. “In this case, our office applied the full force of the law, working quickly to lead our federal partners to bring the charges. We will seek justice and restitution for the more than 90 aggrieved investors in 21 states.”

On Tuesday, the securities division issued a cease and desist order against Hager, Robert D. Hawkins and 5A Holdings LLC. The division reportedly coordinated with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office throughout the investigation process, leading to the order and Hager’s arrest.

The order alleges that Hager and his company 5A Holdings, aided by Hawkins, made untrue statements, omitted material facts and engaged in fraud.

From March 2016 to August 2017, Hager allegedly solicited more than 90 investors from at least 21 different states to invest in 5A Holdings, raising approximately $4.7 million, purportedly to purchase and sell cattle for profit.

The press release indicates that Hager stated in marketing materials that the average return on investment was 23.71%, in just 138 days. No cattle were purchased, and Hager allegedly used at least $1.2 million of investor funds to pay commissions for referring others to invest, alleged returns on investments and personal expenses.

Hawkins pretended to be the veterinarian for 5A Holding, taking investors to several cattle farms that he stated held the company’s cattle, according to Ashcroft's office.

Four Missourians, including residents of Clinton, Sikeston, and St. Charles, were among the investors.

“Investors should make sure they know who they are dealing with, what they are buying, and understand the risks before they part with their money,” Securities Commissioner David M. Minnick said. “Beware of fraud. If an investment seems too good to be true, it just might be. If you have a question about a potential investment, contact our office.”

The division also ordered Hager, Hawkins and 5A Holdings to show cause why they should not be ordered to pay restitution plus interest, civil penalties, and investigation costs totaling more than $3.1 million.

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