The secretary of state's office issued a warning to area residents about a scam it said originated in Rolla. 

Secretary of State Jason Kander last week ordered Daniel Keith Steele and his wife, Judy Dianne Steele, of Rolla to stop conducting fraudulent business after Kander’s office found the Steeles diverted funds for personal use.

The cease and desist order filed by the securities division of Kander’s office alleges that Daniel Steele used investor funds for his own personal purposes, including: $98,000 in purchases from Acura and Chevrolet dealerships and other personal expenses, such as payments to a construction company and prior investors. Steele also transferred money to bank accounts controlled by his wife and himself.

“I urge all Missourians to call my office before investing their hard-earned savings, especially when dealing with complicated or risky investments,” Kander said. “If the person offering you an investment or the investment itself is not registered with my office, there’s a chance it could be a scam.”

Operating through companies such as Champion Management International, LLC and Oracle Forex Fund, LP, Steele convinced at least 24 investors to give him more than $1.8 million to invest in foreign currencies. Steele told his investors that he would pool their money into a fund that would trade foreign currencies, but instead used a portion of the funds for personal expenses.

According to the petition, Steele came into contact with clients through online forex training courses and by word of mouth, claiming to have special knowledge and expertise in forex trading. The petition further alleges that he failed to inform investors of many important facts, including that at least some of their investment funds would be spent on the Steele family personal expenses, that returns would be funded with investments from other clients, and that Mr. Steele had a pre-existing $190,000 tax lien to the Department of Justice. The petition also alleges that Mr. Steele failed to register the interests in this fund, as required by law.

Kander asks anyone who has done business with Mr. Steele to contact his office at 800-721-7996

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