Business briefs for Jan. 4, 2011

Cease-and-desist order against local investor

Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan has taken an enforcement action against an Independence man, alleging the misuse of investor funds.

The Securities Division of the secretary of state’s office has issued a cease-and-desist order against Richard Joseph Gumerman, who officials say is not registered to sell securities in the state but who, over 21 years, sold investments in a commodities trading fund through his Lee’s Summit business, Gumerman Trading Company.

The Securities Division got nine investor complaints six weeks ago. Officials say Gumerman told investors they would not lose money and they could take out their funds anytime they pleased. Instead, a dozen investors in Missouri and Pennsylvania put in more than $948,000 – up to $724,000 of which has not been repaid.

Those included an 88-year-old Independence resident who invested $329,000 over eight years and a 79-year-old Independence resident who invested $14,000 in 2006. Last September, Gumerman told both that his fund had less than $5,000 and was unable to repay them but could repay them in 10 years if he continued trading.

The secretary of state’s office says Gumerman did not tell investors he had only traded commodities for one year in a personal account – and lost money doing so – or that he borrowed hundreds of thousand of dollars from the GTC bank account for personal expenses such as rent and expenses for his engineering business.

Those expenses also included $10,000 to three waitresses at a Hooters restaurant and a clerk at another store with payments for a car, furniture and clothing.

The secretary of state’s office advises calling the Securities Division before making an investment to check out the legitimacy of an investment and the person offering it.

Adams Dairy Bank names new controller

Adams Dairy Bank has promoted Kevin Vogt to controller.

Vogt first started with the bank as a credit analyst in 2008 and since  has held the position of accounting officer.

He attended Blue Springs South High School and graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in business administration with an emphasis on finance and economics. He is treasurer of the Blue Springs Rotary Club.