NEWARK– The New Jersey Bureau of Securities today filed suit against Credit USA, Inc., a credit-repair and identity protection company formerly based in Cherry Hill, and its two principals for allegedly selling unregistered stock and for transacting sales without being registered to do so.
Terrel L. Alexander, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Credit USA, and Nicole Alexander Shirer, the President of Credit USA and Alexander’s ex-wife, are named along with the company as defendants in the state’s three-count lawsuit. The suit was filed in State Superior Court in Essex County and seeks restitution for any losses that investors sustained, among other remedies.
The state alleges that between August 2005 and November 2009 the defendants violated the New Jersey Uniform Securities Law by acting as agents without being registered with the Bureau of Securities and selling unregistered securities.
“We’re taking action on behalf of the investors who suffered losses when these defendants allegedly broke our state securities laws,” Attorney General Paula T. Dow said.
Credit USA maintained its headquarters in Cherry Hill from June 2007 to about November 2009. The company was incorporated in Delaware.
New Jerseyand Delaware authorities cooperated in investigating the defendants. The Delaware Attorney General’s Office today secured criminal indictments against Alexander, Shirer, and an additional officer of the company, William Love, III.
“These two actions illustrate the important work that the states do in protecting investors,” said Thomas R. Calcagni, Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. “The states provide resources that augment federal oversight and, as we’ve done here, states can join together to go after those who target investors.”
The state’s lawsuit seeks to ban Alexander and Shirer from the securities industry in New Jersey, to disgorge all profits gained through violation of the Uniform Securities Law, and the assessment of civil monetary penalties.
There are estimated to be at least 100 investors who paid over $125,000 for shares. The investors included people who had paid to become “members” of Credit USA and “associates,” members who had paid an additional fee that allowed them to sell Credit USA services to others.
“I applaud the coordination among the states to thwart this operation. Credit USA’s sale of unregistered stock highlights the public's need to be more vigilant and to check with the Bureau before investing in order to avoid being victims,” said Marc B. Minor, Chief of the N.J. Bureau of Securities.
The NJBOS can be contacted toll-free within New Jersey at 1-877-I-INVEST (1-877-446-8378) or from outside New Jersey at 973-504-3699. The Bureau’s web site is located at www.njsecurities.gov ( http://www.njsecurities.gov/ )
Deputy Attorneys General Victoria Manning and Christopher W. Gerold are representing the State in this matter. Bureau of Securities Supervising Investigator Michael McElgunn and Investigator Richard Smullen led the investigation.