January 13, 2005
Springfield, Mo. — Attorney General Jay Nixon today filed criminal charges alleging securities fraud against Springfield insurance agent George William "Bill" Hull. The felony complaint, filed in Greene County Associate Circuit Circuit, charges Hull with two counts of selling unregistered securities and two counts of selling securities without being a registered agent.
According to the charging documents, Hull sold at least $100,000 in promissory notes to investors after promising them a rate of return of 12 percent on their investments. He surrendered today to Greene County sheriff's deputies after the charges were filed.
A preliminary hearing for Hull is scheduled for Jan. 27. A condition of Hull's bond is that he not leave the state of Missouri; that he not sell insurance, securities or investments; and that he not provide individuals or business entities with investment advice.
The crimes of offering or selling unregistered securities and transacting business as an agent without being registered are both unclassified felonies under Missouri law. Conviction is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine on each count. As in all criminal cases, the charges are merely accusations, and Hull is presumed innocent until or unless proven guilty in a court of law.
In 2002, Nixon filed a civil lawsuit in Greene County against Hull, in conjunction with the Secretary of State's Securities Division. The lawsuit alleged Hull sold several million dollars worth of unregistered securities without being a registered agent. The lawsuit is still pending.