Arkansas Securities Department Issues Cease & Desist Against Florida Firm, Advisers

The Arkansas Securities Department issued a cease-and-desist order Tuesday against a Florida company and its stockbrokers who allegedly tricked an Arkansas couple into selling their investments to buy gold and silver.

Arkansas Securities Commissioner A. Heath Abshure issued the order against Jade Asset Advisors, Walter A. "Chip" Tye and Elizabeth Littleton, all of Boca Raton, Fla., who have never been registered in Arkansas.

The order said that Tye and Littleton gave a sales pitch in 2011 to a unnamed Bentonville couple. Tye and Littleton persuaded the couple to sell their securities in an individual retirement account to buy gold or silver.

The couple followed Tye's advice. But their money was transferred to another account without their authorization, the order said.

When the couple learned about the transfer, they demanded their money back. The series of transactions that included a commission that Jade Asset charged resulted in a net loss of 75 percent to the couple's IRA funds. The order didn't say exactly how much the couple lost.

Tye has been a registered stockbroker in 2003, which was before receiving a felony conviction for trafficking cocaine, the order said. Littleton has never been registered as a stockbroker.

The phone number to Jade Asset wasn't working.