Arkansas Securities Commissioner Sues Georgia Man over $300,000 Investment

The Arkansas Securities Commissioner A. Heath Abshure sued a Georgia man Thursday for securities fraud and registration violations in connection with taking a $300,000 investment from his Arkansas cousin.

Abshure charged in the lawsuit that in 2005 Rodney Callaway enticed his Arkansas cousin, Sharon Carter, to invest $300,000 and promised she would make 12 percent interest on the money.

Carter turned to Callaway because she thought he was in the "asset management" business for more that 18 years, the lawsuit said. Callaway is the CEO of the Heritage Corner Ltd. and the Heritage Funding Group Inc., both of Duluth, Ga. Both companies also were named as defendants in the lawsuit.  

Carter had received the money from a settlement of a lawsuit and was going to use those proceeds to care for an ailing sibling.

Callaway also told Carter that his money was tied up in "this investment and that his investment had proved very beneficial to him because of the high rate of return," the lawsuit said.

Carter trusted Callaway because of the family connection and bought a promissory note to benefit Environmental Protection of Asia Foundation Inc., the lawsuit said. Callaway told her the money would be used for humanitarian projects.

Instead, the money was used to for "repaying a previous investor" and "paying Callaway's personal expenses."
Callaway hasn't provided Carter with any accounting of the investment, but he has given her eight interest payments totaling $165,000, the lawsuit said.

Abshure is seeking restitution for Carter, a fine and an injunction against the defendants from selling securities again in Arkansas.

Callaway couldn't be reached for comment.