Iowa agency to represent victims of alleged investor fraud

Published: Apr. 20, 2018 at 9:25 PM CDT
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Several investors who lost money in a Nebraska tech company are getting help from an Iowa agency. Six on Your Side first exposed questionable business practices by Papillion-based Blazefly. A year later there is legal action by the state which alleges fraud.

Imagine technology that could roll all your phone apps into one. Blazefly founder Jamie Crager had a patent and about 40 investors nationwide who thought an app like that would be successful. Peg Christensen invested $29,000.

"We believed him and it sounded really good. It sounded very intelligent, it sounded like the next big technological thing,” she said.

But a 6 News investigation found Blazefly misleading about its app buyers -- like City of Ralston.

"You’re not authorized to put the city of Ralston's name on a website,” Ralston Mayor Don Groesser said.

The company president also named-dropped partners.

"Mark Cuban was a name he dropped,” Christensen said

Like Peg, nine investors live in Iowa. The Iowa State Insurance Commission filed administrative charges alleging Blazefly attracted investors with business practices that are misleading and fraudulent. Christensen says the president of Blazefly would make the rounds of tech conventions and do interviews posted on YouTube and those would give investors confidence they'd get their money back and more.

"He talked a big game but he never actually had the product fully developed,” said Christensen.

Christensen says the Blazefly-YouTube talk is cheap but lack of app development is costly to investors.

"He has hurt many, many people. He's hurt so many people that can't afford to lose it,” said Christensen.

The Iowa Insurance Commission filed administrative charges against Blazefly and its president, Jamie Crager. Those involve sanctions, not jail time. Christensen says after evidence comes out, a criminal prosecutor is apt to pick up the case.

Here's what the Division of Insurance will be asking in a hearing next month:

  • Prohibit Blazefly from getting any more Iowa investors.
  • Not allow the company to sell securities in the state for 10 years.
  • The Insurance Division also seeks an order of restitution that would go to Iowa investors.
  • The president of Blazefly, Jamie Crager, and his last know attorney haven't responded to our messages.