Maine’s Office of Securities Issues Cease and Desist Order Prohibiting Imperia Invest IBC From Marketing Unregistered Investments in Maine

Maine Consumers, Including Members of Deaf Community, Targeted

GARDINER, MAINE  —  Maine Securities Administrator Judith M. Shaw is warning consumers about what appears to be an online investment scam involving a company or individuals operating under the name “Imperia Invest IBC.”  Among those being impacted are consumers who utilize online chat sites that focus on people who are deaf.

Following an investigation of Imperia—a company allegedly located on the island nation of Vanuatu in the South Pacific Ocean—Administrator Shaw issued a summary cease and desist order on May 5th prohibiting Imperia from soliciting Maine investors through the offer of unregistered securities.

Office of Securities’ investigators had been contacted earlier in the year by a Maine resident who learned that a friend had invested $1,000 in Imperia in January after being promised a multi-million dollar payout within six months.  Similar promises of highly improbable returns are posted on Imperia’s website and circulated in online chat sites popular within the deaf community.

Office of Securities investigators have been told that some victims may not be willing to come forward because they believe that by doing so they will be responsible for causing the investment scheme to fall apart, thus preventing earlier investors from receiving the returns promised by the company.

Shaw is urging investors with information about Imperia Invest IBC in Maine to contact Maine’s Office of Securities for assistance.  She is also encouraging people to refrain from sending money to the purported company.

“Maine investors should steer clear of Imperia Invest IBC,” Shaw commented.  “Promises of unusually sizeable returns should be a red flag, and cause people to check with the Office of Securities before investing.  As always, check before you invest.”

Consumers may contact the Office of Securities to check an adviser, salesperson or investment, or for other information related to investing by calling 1-877-624-8551 (TTY 1-888-577-6690), by visiting the Office’s website at www.investors.maine.gov, or by mail to Maine Office of Securities, 121 SHS, Augusta, ME 04333-0121.

The Office of Securities is part of Maine’s Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, which encourages sound ethical business practices through the regulation of insurers, financial institutions, creditors, investment providers, and numerous professions and occupations for the purpose of protecting the citizens of Maine. Consumers can learn more about the Department online at www.maine.gov/pfr.

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