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Man pleads to security fraud

A plea arrangement leads to the conviction in a security fraud case.

Complaints by two Pike County residents led to the conviction of a former Autauga County man for securities fraud.

Jack Deck Weight III, a Cecil County, Md., pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of Securities Fraud on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011.

Weight was sentenced in Pike County Circuit Court to 10 years’ imprisonment and was ordered to pay victim restitution for violations of the Alabama Securities Act.

Dan Lord, Education and Public Affairs Manager for the Alabama Securities Commission (ASC), says it looks as if Weight had two victims in the Pike County area.

“It appears that there were two victims in Pike County, so they took it to the Grand Jury right here in May 2010 and got an indictment on him, which led to his arrest,” Lord said.

An investigation by ASC Enforcement Division agents led to a seven-count indictment against Weight by a May 2010 Pike County Grand Jury.

Under Weight’s plea agreement, he will receive a 10-year suspended sentence with five years supervised probation and must pay $5,178 restitution to the Pike County victims. Weight also will be court fees of $2,500.

Weight’s sentence in Pike County will run concurrent with a similar sentence handed down in Autauga County Circuit Court in December 2010.

“He was essentially making a false claim, calling people up and promising them something extraordinary,” Lord said. “It was too good to be true.”

The case should offer an example of caution for state residents. “If anybody in Alabama approaches you, a potential investor, from inside Alabama or anywhere in the United States for that matter and makes you an offer and they are not registered to do business and their products are not registered, then ASC is going to look into the matter,” Lord said.

Weight was said to be conducting business as Eagle Eye Enterprises and soliciting money from Alabama investors to be used to purchase interests in gold or mutual funds, with a guarantee to triple the investors’ money in less than a week or the investments would be refunded.

The ASC cautions potential investors to thoroughly scrutinize and research any investment opportunity or offer.

“When someone calls you up, whether it is a legitimate offer or not, it doesn’t matter, because the law says that they have to be registered to sell that product or make that offer to you,” Lord said. “Also, it says that the product has to be registered. Our greatest free service is that we offer people the option of calling us toll-free and we’ll do a background check on the person making the ‘incredible’ offer.”

Contact the ASC with inquiries concerning securities broker-dealers, agents, investment advisers, investment adviser representatives, financial planners, registration status of securities or debt management programs, to report suspected fraud or to obtain consumer information.

The ASC provides free investor education and fraud prevention materials in print, on their website (www.asc.alabama.gov), and through educational presentations upon request.