Alex Stowe is beating cancer, but he lost $25,000 raised for his recovery after investing the money with an unlicensed investor.
“If you’re going to take someone’s money you have to follow through on promises and you should be licensed by the state,” says Stowe.
20 year old Alex and his mother Luanne Pane-Stowe are suing Michael "Red" Welke who owned the now closed Growth Partners LLC.
In court Stowe and his mother testified they were led to believe Welke would invest the $25,000 in foreign currency markets with possible returns up to 14 percent.
Luanne Pane-Stowe said, “We knew of risks but when you turn around and you say sorry the money is gone because the hedge fund collapsed. Well we weren’t supposed to be in a hedge fund.”
Welke testified he made no guarantees and told Alex and his mother of the risks.
Welke testified he didn’t need a broker’s license because he only handled investments for family and friends. Alex Stowe didn’t know Welke but was introduced to him by a cousin.
Thought not licensed, the state has issued an order that Welke not deal in securities in Nebraska for 10 years and pay a $10,000 fine.
That order is related to another firm where Welke was a partner. Elite Management Holdings also folded and Welke's two partners Michael Kratville and Jon Arrington were also reprimanded by the state.
The Stowe's attorney Pat Heng asked a judge to order Welke repay the $25,000 investment plus interest of $8,000.
Welke declined comment leaving the courtroom. His attorney Anthony Ike said there was no fraud by Welke.