TWO ARRESTED IN SECURITIES/REAL ESTATE SCAM; VICTIMS SOUGHT IN NEW SCAM : SO FAR NEARLY $400,000 TAKEN FROM VICTIMS IN NEVADA AND CALIFORNIA
Secretary of State’s Office Asks for Assistance in Locating Other Victims
(Las Vegas, NV; April 1, 2009) - Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller is looking for the potential victims of Todd Kitchens, arrested yesterday on charges of securities related fraud amounting to nearly $400,000. “We have reason to believe there are more victims in Nevada who may have been victimized in a new scam perpetrated by Kitchens after his so-called Hawaii real estate investment scheme had run its course,” said Miller. “Some of them may not even know yet that they’ve been scammed. We want to make sure that all the victims have the opportunity to see justice done.”
Two suspects, Todd Kitchens and Mary Felicia Novak, both of Las Vegas, are alleged to have collected approximately $390,000 from more than 40 known victims in a scam based on investments in a non-existent real estate development in Hawaii called “Kona Blue Village.” The victims were told that Innovative Real Estate Investments, LLC (IREI, LLC), a company owned by Kitchens and Novak would use the money to develop residential real estate in Hawaii which the investors would then be able to sell at a profit. According to Secretary of State’s investigators, neither Kitchens nor Novak owned any property in Hawaii, and neither had any contracts to develop the projects in which they were selling investments. Investigators say more recently, Kitchens may have also been promoting a scheme in which victims were told that their funds would be deposited into a non-existent hedge fund for safekeeping.
The Securities Enforcement Division asks that Nevadans who have done business with Kitchens to contact them at (702) 486-2440, (775) 688-1855, or (800) 758-6440. Alleged victims in other states are advised to contact their respective enforcement agencies.
As in all criminal matters, the office of the Secretary of State maintains that the allegations are merely accusations and individuals are presumed to be innocent until proven
guilty in a court of law.
For more information on how to choose an investment professional, go directly to http://www.nvsos.gov/securities/investors/publications/knowyourbroker.asp, or follow the Securities Center “investor education” links at www.nvsos.gov.
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Editors/Producers: Booking photos of Kitchen and Novak are included with the email of this release, and will be posted with the release at www.nvsos.gov. Or, copies are available through the contact information above.)