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Secretary of State's Office Orders Stop to Sale of Unregistered Gold Mine Securities
Posted Date: 12/3/2009
Contact: Pam duPré
(775) 684-5748

Investigators cite danger to public welfare

(Carson City, NV; December 3, 2009) – Securities investigators with Secretary of State Ross Miller’s office this week served a Cease and Desist Order on Sierra Mining Group, Inc., Durango Partners, David S. Kaplan, and Mitch Menik, all with Clark County addresses, for offering unregistered investments in several gold mines, and advertising for salespeople to both invest in and sell the unregistered securities. Under Nevada law, securities must be registered or exempt from registration and paid salespersons offering them must be licensed. In this case, would be salespersons responding to an ad were told by the promoters that the investments were not securities and that the salespeople did not need to be licensed.

Sierra Mining Group placed an ad in the “Jobs” section of the Sunday Las Vegas Review Journal inviting individuals to an address on Lake Mead Blvd. in Las Vegas to learn how to make commissions selling partnerships in their gold mines. Investigators say ads also ran on Craig’s List. An investigator with the Securities Division attended the November 30th meeting undercover, and a Cease and Desist Order was served on the parties the following day.

The Cease and Desist Order states that Kaplan and Menik told meeting attendees they could invest a minimum of $25,000 to purchase one “unit” of partnership in Durango Partners. They claimed the investment had zero risk because of the number of mines they had “options” on and because there is always a market for gold. Attendees were told that investors would receive a return of more than 200% in the first year of their investment. Individuals were invited to become commissioned sales representatives and earn $5,000 for every “unit” they sold to others. “Our investigators were right on top of this potential scam,” said Secretary of State Ross Miller. “Who knows how many individuals might have been persuaded by their smooth sales pitch. If this investment opportunity is in fact as good as they say it is, they should have no problem coming into compliance with Nevada law.”

The Cease and Desist Order was personally delivered by Secretary of State Investigators on Tuesday to Sierra Mining Group, Inc. Durango Partners, David S. Kaplan and Mitch Menik, all at 9418 W. Lake Mead Blvd. in Las Vegas, where a training session for would-be salespeople was taking place.. The order prohibits them from offering the investment until the security is registered and the sales agents are licensed.

The respondents have 45 days to request a hearing on the order.
Anyone who may have already invested with Sierra Mining Group or Durango Partners is asked to call the Secretary of State’s Securities Division at 702-486-2440.