Marijuana investment adviser sanctioned for securities fraud

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A Colorado-based investment adviser received a cease-and-desist order from state regulators after admitting to securities fraud tied to a cannabis-focused firm he launched in 2016.

Charlie Stivers, founder of Aurora-based Aim High Holdings, admitted to violating the Colorado Securities Act when he failed to disclose certain facts as he solicited investments for his firm, according to the state’s Division of Securities.

According to a release from the division:

  • Stivers failed to disclose the sale of $50,000 of equity in a company he started, Garden Financial, to a former employer, Innovation Partners. After leaving that firm, Stivers allowed his license as a registered representative to expire.
  • With his next employer, Foundations Investment Advisors, Stivers began soliciting investors in Aim High. Those investments were not registered, and Stivers earned commissions for the deals, even though he was no longer licensed to do so.
  • Stivers also failed to provide the division with filings regarding the sale and offer of securities and an individual’s business dealings.

Within a year of launching Aim High, Stivers convinced nine investors to hand over $570,000 for a stake in his firm. “But in doing so, he failed to disclose a number of material facts and made misrepresentations as to the offer and sale of the Aim High Holdings securities,” according to the release.

Under Colorado’s securities rules, Stivers is now deemed a “Bad Actor” and is banned from issuing, managing, partnering in or promoting private placement offerings for the next 10 years.