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Secretary of State

Securities Division > News Archive  > 2004 Press Releases > For Immediate Release: November 22, 2004 Secretary of State Todd Rokita today praised the teamwork that led to the filing of criminal charges against Arlen McBride

Contact: Kate Shepherd
317-233-8655
Media@sos.in.gov

Criminal Charges Filed in Securities Fraud Case

Indianapolis, IN -- Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita today praised the teamwork that led to the filing of criminal charges against Arlen McBride. The investigation, initiated by Rokita's office, has resulted in six criminal counts against McBride. McBride is charged with two counts of failure to register as a securities agent, two counts of failure to register a security for sale and two counts of fraudulent sale of a security. All six counts are Class C felonies, which are each punishable by up to eight years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

"I will continue to go after those that prey upon Hoosiers and cost them their hard-earned money," Rokita said. "These white collar criminals will be stopped through the cooperation of state and local enforcement officials."

McBride is accused of selling unregistered securities issued by BHT Investments for $30,000 to the victim. McBride allegedly told the victim that BHT was a successful, 35-year-old family-owned car dealership with an inventory of several million dollars and that the investment was "safe."

Rokita's office referred the case to the Marion County Prosecutor, who under Indiana law has the authority to file criminal charges. The offices continued working together to develop the case.

"We welcome the cooperation of the Secretary of State's office in the protection of victims," Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said. "We want to take this opportunity to warn our citizens that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be very cautious of anyone making promises of easy money."

"I want to congratulate the Prosecutor's office for pursuing this matter. I would also like to thank Tasha Gail, Charles Williams, and Jennifer Thompson from my office," Rokita said. "This is an excellent example of what can be accomplished when government officials share resources and put the interests of Hoosiers first."

Rokita reminds Hoosiers there is no such thing as a "completely safe" investment. Investors are encouraged to do their homework and check out investment opportunities by visiting his website, www.sos.IN.gov .