by Gwen Moritz
Posted 4/26/2013 01:25 pm
Updated 7 months ago
State Securities Commissioner Heath Abshure filed a lawsuit Thursday against two related Bentonville companies and the former Bentonville couple who accused them of securities fraud.
The defendants are Interactive Digital Systems LLC and RMI Group LLC. The majority ownership of both belongs to Dennis F. and Jan Richey Robinson, described in the lawsuit as residents of Florida who formerly lived in Bentonville.
The complaint alleges that the Robinsons, through their companies, sold unregistered securities and committed securities fraud when offering membership interests in IDS and RMI to potential investors. Between 2007 and 2009, at least four investors in Arkansas gave them at least $181,000 based on false representations that the companies owned the patents on kiosk hardware and software and that the kiosks were on the verge of being placed in large retailers including Kroger, Wal-Mart and Dick's Sporting Goods.
The Robinsons also allegedly promised unrealistic returns, but they did not reveal that a prior investor had already sued them for fraud and obtained a judgment against them in Benton County Circuit Court.
Abshure's lawsuit alleges that the Robinsons used the investors' money to pay for personal expenses such as meals, entertainment, clothing, luxury items and vacations.