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N.H. man accused of defrauding clients via fake charity he claimed involved Taylor Swift

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — There could also be some dangerous blood between a former New Hampshire monetary adviser and purchasers he’s accused of defrauding by way of a faux charity he claimed concerned singer Taylor Swift.

The state bureau of securities regulation not too long ago obtained a short lived courtroom order freezing the belongings of Dain Stokes and prohibiting him from contacting two former purchasers. Starting a couple of 12 months in the past, the pair invested at the very least $576,000 in what they believed was a charity challenge in Africa involving Swift, Bill Gates and different celebrities, authorities mentioned.

“We only know of two (investors), but we have concerns that there may be others,” Noah Abrahams, workers legal professional for the securities bureau, mentioned Wednesday.

Authorities mentioned Stokes promised purchasers a 20% return, however as a substitute spent a few of the cash on himself and transferred the remaining to a number of folks and entities throughout the nation. He additionally advised purchasers he was engaged to Swift, in response to courtroom paperwork, and talked about her in textual content messages updating purchasers in regards to the challenge.

“We need $30k this week to finish the project in Africa so we all get paid big, I can come up with $20k, but I’m $10k short, so you have it?” Stokes texted one investor, in response to the criticism. “If not, no worries, but Taylor asked me to personally ask you, lol, she likes you! Let me know.”

In one other textual content, Stokes wrote: “Trump’s illegally locked my bank accounts and I’m fighting it in the Federal Bank Commission in the New Hampshire AG’s Office. Taylor is releasing a new song on Instagram in 30 minutes and I’m promoting it.”

One of the traders mentioned he had been a shopper of Stokes for about 15 years, together with the final 10 when Stokes labored for LPL Financial in Bedford. Stokes, of Fremont, has been fired from that job, and he didn’t present as much as a courtroom listening to earlier than the short-term order was issued. A telephone message was left for him Wednesday at a doable residence quantity.

Abrahams mentioned the case stays underneath investigation, and the bureau is pursuing restitution for Stokes’ purchasers. It’s doable Stokes will face legal prices along with the executive courtroom case. When police requested Stokes in regards to the identify of the Africa charity and the place the cash goes, he claimed it was confidential, authorities mentioned.

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