State orders broker to stop selling securities

Published 12:11 pm Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Vicksburg woman accused of selling securities without registering with the Secretary of State’s Office has been ordered to cease and desist.

The Secretary of State’s Office issued the order Tuesday against 52-year-old Dondi Cotton of Vicksburg for violating state securities laws, Pamela Weaver, a spokesman for Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said in an email.

“Mr. Cotton allegedly promised investors 100 percent return on their investment within one year,” Hosemann said.  “It is illegal to sell securities in the State of Mississippi without registering with our agency or obtaining an exemption from registration.  I encourage Mississippians to research who and where they invest their hard earned dollars.  If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.”

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Anyone who has been solicited by or who has conducted business with Cotton is encouraged to call the Securities Division of the Secretary of State’s Office at 601-359-1334, Weaver said.

Attempts to reach Cotton Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Cotton told investors all returns greater than 100 percent would be profit for him, Hosemann said.

“Cotton has been ordered to cease and desist from selling any more securities to any individual in Mississippi,” Weaver said.

State securities laws require all securities, as well as the individuals who sell them, to register with the state.  Failure to register with the Secretary of State’s Office is a violation of the Mississippi Securities Act and carries a penalty of $25,000 for each violation.