The state’s Investor Protection Unit (IPU) has issued a Summary Order to Cease and Desist against the Ralph V. Estep Firm, an accounting firm, and Ralph V. Estep, owner.
A message was sent to Estep seeking comment.
“You worked hard for your savings, and you deserve advisers you can trust,” said Attorney General Kathy Jennings. “Registration requirements for financial professionals are not just red tape: they protect investors by ensuring that the people you trust with your money have been vetted and are subject to basic oversight and regulation. Unfortunately, unlicensed individuals and firms are behind many financial scams, so it’s important to check the status of your investment professional before you invest.”
The order was issued after the state became aware of a letter soliciting clients and/or prospective clients to use Estep and the firm’s investment advisory services. Neither Estep nor the firm are registered investment professionals under the Delaware Securities Act, and so are not permitted to act as financial advisers or solicit clients for those services. The order prohibits Estep and the firm from engaging in acts and practices that violate the Delaware Securities Act
Investors can check the registration status of financial professionals at brokercheck.finra.org and adviserinfo.sec.gov. For help in checking the registration status of your financial professional or to file a complaint, the Investor Protection Unit can be contacted at Investor.Protection@delaware.gov or by visiting de.gov/investors.
See the state’s order below: