MIT Associates, Inc.
July 27, 2010
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions’ Securities Division cautions investors regarding a company named MIT Associates, Inc.
MIT Associates, Inc. uses the website www.mitassociates.org and identifies its main office as being in the Columbia Center in Seattle, Washington.
A representative from MIT Associates, Inc. contacted a non-US investor and provided the investor with fabricated documents containing DFI letterhead, the signatures of DFI staff, and seals of the State of Washington and the City of Seattle.
Some of the fabricated documents related to a purported “Reliance Charter Ltd. client segregated multi currency escrow account.”
For more information on how government seals are used in fraudulent schemes such as “Advance Fee” or “Recovery Room” schemes, see the SEC website regarding Fake Seals and Phony Numbers.
The investor also received a fabricated “BrokerCheck Report” that purported to be sent by a representative of NASDAQ, and which included the names and CRD numbers of bona fide members of the U.S. financial services industry.
To confuse unsuspecting prospective investors, perpetrators of these schemes sometimes attempt to impersonate registered securities firms by using the same or a similar name, or making false claims of endorsement or approval by government agencies.
FINRA’s BrokerCheck Program is a free tool to help investors research the professional backgrounds of current and former FINRA-registered brokerage firms and brokers.
FINRA has provided warnings to investors regarding the fraudulent use of BrokerCheck in advance fee schemes targeting non-US investors.