The state securities director has shut down a Springfield real estate investment company with charges that it has been illegally selling securities and using illegal agents to do it.
Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s securities chief has gotten a cease and desist order against Greenleaf Companies and its officers. As she explains it, Greenleaf recruited people to use their own credit to buy homes that Greenleaf identified. Greenleaf promised to act as a leasing agent and to rent the homes for enough to pay the owner’s mortgage and other expenses. At the end of three years, Greenleaf was to pay the owner ten-thousand dollars and either buy the home from them or find another buyer.
Earlier this year, Carnahan’s office started getting complaints that Greenleaf was missing payments to the owners, who were faced with making the mortgage payments themselves, or losing their credit rating and the house through foreclosure. And the renters faced evictions.
She says her office has identified 66 victims so far who have invested 15-million dollars of their own money on behalf of Greenleaf. She says Greenleaf employees could be facing criminal charges that could lead them to prison….and the people who bought those houses could be digging out of the hole they are in for a long time.
The Attorney General has sought a temporary injunction against Greenleaf that orders the company to make all monthly payments to customers and not to sell any of the homes with mortgages that are in trouble. Greenleaf calls those "minor changes" in its operations.
At least one of Greenleaf’s home-owners has filed for bankruptcy protection. She has mortgages on five houses.