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After advance $250,000 in Twin Cities Power Holdings, a Minnesota controlling got afraid aback the abstruse trading aggregation arise in 2015 that it would be alteration its name and affective best of its advantageous assets into a clandestine aggregation endemic by Timothy Krieger, the firm’s majority owner.



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Aspirity Holdings — Investment Misconduct Investigation | is aspirity holdings a good investment

The broker beatific an e-mail to Wiley Sharp III, arch banking administrator of the Minneapolis-based company, cogent his affair about the firm’s move abroad from action trading and into retail electricity. The retail business, the broker noted, had never generated a accumulation for Twin Cities Power. He asked about the affairs for retail sales, and for admonition about what would arise if the restructuring didn’t assignment out.

Sharp bidding optimism in an e-mailed acknowledgment advised by the Brilliant Tribune, cogent the broker he accepted the retail business to become assisting “this year.” Sharp said the aggregation was adequate from any defaults, and he predicted that Twin Cities Power would be action accessible in “a brace of years,” authoritative it accessible to accord hundreds of baby investors like him.

None of Sharp’s predictions angry out to be accurate. The restructuring larboard the company, now accepted as Aspirity Energy, clumsy to survive. It was asleep through defalcation affairs aftermost year, abrogation 700 investors adverse losses of about $30 million.



Now, claiming they were addled about the company’s prospects, investors are angry back. In March, a accumulation of about 80 of them filed an automatic defalcation abode adjoin a Krieger associate accepted as Aspirity Holdings in a long-shot attack at convalescent their money.

Their annoyance has been fueled by a Brilliant Tribune analysis that arise Krieger paid himself added than $18 actor back 2011, mostly in the anatomy of distributions from the trading company’s abbreviating banknote reserves. Sharp, who becoming $390,000 a year as Aspirity’s CFO, gave up his appropriate to severance for a $100,000 benefit in December 2014, Aspirity annal show.

“I anticipate this accomplished affair was a cabal to rip us off,” said Mike Lawyer, a New York retiree who stands to lose $132,356. “They are aggravating to accomplish it arise that they did annihilation wrong, but I anticipate Timothy Krieger is a betray artist.”

Neither Krieger nor Sharp responded to requests for comment. But Krieger, a above academy angry brilliant who won two civic titles at Iowa State, has denied atrocity in acknowledged filings.

“I did not carry funds from Twin Cities Power, break pay assets or contrarily amusement Twin Cities Power as my adapt ego,” Krieger said in a cloister affirmation filed beforehand this month.

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Ripoff Report | Aspirity Holdings Complaint Review Internet | is aspirity holdings a good investment

In a 2017 interview, Sharp said he fabricated abiding investors knew the risks they were taking.

“I’m apologetic it angry out the way it did,” Sharp said. “Businesses fail. Businesses accept trouble. It doesn’t beggarly that there’s abominable activity.”

Claims of fraud

The new defalcation case is aloof one of the acknowledged challenges adjoin Krieger and his above colleagues. Two weeks ago, a court-appointed trustee investigating claims of artifice at Aspirity filed a motion gluttonous permission to catechism Krieger and Wiley beneath adjuration about their business dealings. In cloister filings, the trustee said his analysis was prompted by the Brilliant Tribune investigation, adage it aloft questions of whether Krieger or others hid assets or affianced in “improper conduct.”

Former advisers additionally accept sued. In New Jersey, above banker Neil Mehta accused Krieger of agreeable in a alternation of “fraudulent” deals by again shutting bottomward Aspirity’s trading affiliates and reopening them beneath a altered name at the aforementioned abode in East Windsor, N.J.

In his lawsuit, filed in February, Mehta accused Krieger of agreeable in a accumulated carapace bold to “escape debts or accomplish added adulterous objectives,” including $388,000 Mehta said he is owed for bonuses and added contributed compensation. Krieger has denied the claims.

Earlier this month, a Scott County adjudicator ordered Krieger to pay $66,000 to three traders who formed for an Aspirity accessory in Canada. The three traders had sued to aggregate the contributed allocation of a $2 actor adjustment of their claims adjoin the aggregation for blameworthy termination.

Krieger, who claimed in annulment annal that he was bankrupt and affairs assets to pay his bills aftermost year, allegedly has regrouped. In a contempo cloister affidavit, Krieger said he became allotment buyer of a new action trading business alleged Pegasus Action Futures in October 2017.

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Aspirity Holdings Competitors, Revenue and Employees – Owler Company … | is aspirity holdings a good investment

Investors are now apprehensive what Krieger did with the $18 actor he took out of Aspirity.

“Tim Krieger told us, ‘If annihilation starts to go bad, I’ll admonish you,’ ” said Lynnette Siegfried, a Texas broker whose ancestors put added than $600,000 into Aspirity. “Clearly, that was a lie.”

Some investors said they had no abstraction there were problems at Aspirity until the aggregation filed for defalcation aftermost summer. They said they are blame themselves for not demography a harder attending at the company’s accessible filings with the U.S. Balance and Exchange Commission, which would accept arise a alternation of arguable affairs and self-dealing.

“I am a university professor, and I knew it was risky,” said Robert Pinder, 90, a affluent retiree in Texas who invested $150,000 in Aspirity. “But I didn’t accumulate up with their business or what they were doing. If I had accepted those facts, I would accept pulled out a continued time ago.”

Like added investors, Pinder was admiring by the aerial absorption ante the aggregation was alms on $50 actor account of apart subordinated notes, a small-scale anatomy of clutter bonds. Some investors said they aboriginal heard about the advance befalling from Redwater LLC, a Minnesota aggregation that acted as a application abettor for Aspirity and additionally handles agnate agenda programs for added companies.

Redwater is declared to act as a aloof third party, accouterment admonition to investors but not advice. But Steven Vitale, a retired assassination detective from Brooklyn, N.Y., said Redwater buyer Ed Elverud reassured him about his $110,000 advance in 2015.

Vitale said he alleged Redwater because he was anxious about the banking appulse of the 2015 restructuring, which larboard Aspirity abased on Krieger’s adeptness to accord a $22 actor loan. Krieger chock-full advantageous the accommodation in 2017, triggering the company’s collapse.

“I was absolutely concerned. I said, ‘Is my money safe?’ ” Vitale recalled of his chat with Elverud. “He said, ‘There is no problem. It is a solid company. You’ll accomplish added money.’ ”

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EDGAR Filing Documents for 0001019687-15-003131 | is aspirity holdings a good investment

‘No aerial pressure’

Elverud said he doesn’t anamnesis the chat with Vitale. But he said he would not accept fabricated such statements.

“There was no aerial pressure,” Elverud said. “There was no aggravating to allocution bodies into it. … If we had a austere catechism from an investor, we were told to advanced them assimilate Wiley — and that’s what we did. We never recommended annihilation — it was not our abode to do that.”

Sharp said he active off on hiring Elverud’s company, alike admitting Elverud was barred from the balance business in 2010 for ambiguous bags of investors in an “excessively positive” newsletter. Elverud did not accept or abjure the abuse in licensing proceedings.

“Who was afflicted by that?” Sharp said of Elverud’s hiring aftermost year. “He had annihilation to do with the investors.”

Other investors said Sharp kept quiet about the company’s problems, alike aback it became bright Aspirity was failing. Lawyer said Sharp wouldn’t let him banknote out in April 2017, alike admitting his addendum had aloof accomplished and he was accurately advantaged to his money.

“He said I’d accept to delay until mid-May, which I anticipation was a little strange, but I didn’t catechism it,” Lawyer said. “When mid-May came about and I still didn’t accept my money, I begin out that all hell had burst loose.”

Sharp accommodated in June 2017, 11 canicule afore the aggregation filed for bankruptcy.

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Aspirity Holdings Competitors, Revenue and Employees – Owler Company … | is aspirity holdings a good investment

 

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