Ballard v. NTB Financial Corporation was filed in the Arapahoe County District Court on July 7, 2021, claiming that Defendants conspired with Financial Visions, Inc. (“FV”) and its principal, Dan Rudden (“Rudden”), to induce investors into purchasing unregistered securities in violation of antifraud provisions of the Colorado Securities Act.
Plaintiffs are individuals and a business entity who invested in promissory notes sold by FV and Rudden. Defendants are NTB Financial Corporation (“NTB”), an investment firm based in Denver, Colorado, and George Louis McCaffrey III, a registered representative employed by NTB that is alleged to have advised certain clients to invest in the unregistered promissory notes.
From 2001 to 2018, FV purported to front the costs of funeral expenses for survivor families in exchange for an assignment of their decedents’ life insurance policies and a 4 to 5 percent service fee. When insurance companies paid the life insurance proceeds, FV would directly recoup the costs of the advanced funeral expenses. To fund the business, FV sold promissory notes signed by Rudden, whereby Rudden agreed to repay investors the principal amount invested plus interest at rates upwards of 12% paid on a quarterly basis. The promissory note further allowed investors to redeem the principal paid plus any accrued interest upon 90 days written notice.
Plaintiffs allege that FV was never profitable, yet Rudden was able to attract investors to purchase the promissory notes through NTB, McCaffey, and other associations’ referrals. Plaintiffs contend that the referrals were made in exchange for a fee paid by Rudden and FV, and that Defendants were aware or should have been aware of the fraudulent nature of FV’s representations. As profits stagnated and obligations to investors accrued, FV began using principal paid by later investors to fund interest owed to earlier investors in Ponzi fashion. In May of 2018, certain investors questioned a delay in receipt of interest payments. Shortly thereafter, Rudden admitted that FV was a Ponzi scheme and that he had defrauded investors of over $55 million.
Plaintiffs seek actual and compensatory damages for Defendants’ role in perpetuating FV’s scheme under a theory of conspiracy to perpetrate common law fraud and violate state securities law.