Printed on: February 19, 2014

I.F. man barred from securities sales


POST REGISTER

An Idaho Falls resident is permanently barred from selling securities in the state and agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $295,000.

Bonneville County District Court on Thursday entered a judgment and permanent injunction against Keith F. Rasmussen. The judgment and restitution agreement were announced in an Idaho Department of Finance news release.

Reached by telephone Tuesday evening, Rasmussen said the judgment did not find him to be at fault.

"There was no finding of fault against me," he said.

The Finance Department sued Rasmussen in January 2013, alleging he violated registration and anti-fraud provisions of Idaho's securities laws. A jury trial in the lawsuit remains scheduled for 1:30 p.m. April 28 before Judge Jon J. Shindurling. But Rasmussen said Tuesday evening that the lawsuit had been dropped.

Efforts to reach Department of Finance officials for comment Tuesday were unsuccessful.

In consenting to restitution and the permanent ban on selling securities, Rasmussen neither admitted nor denied the state's allegations of misrepresentation and omission of important information, the release said.

According to the Department of Finance complaint, Rasmussen was not licensed to sell securities. The state alleged he sold investments in his assisted-living business in the form of promissory notes and failed to advise investors that some of the funds raised would be used to repay prior investors and, in some cases, his own personal expenses. Additionally, the lawsuit alleges Rasmussen misrepresented to some investors that their investments were risk-free and would be well-secured by a real property deed of trust on elder care facilities owned and operated by the defendant.

Companies once associated with Rasmussen included Gables Management LLC and Gables Assisted Living. In March 2012, Gables was taken over by a receiver in a separate bankruptcy case involving Rasmussen.

Later, Rasmussen formed three other related companies -- Gables of Pocatello LLC, Gables of Shelley LLC and Gables of Blackfoot LLC. Eventually, all three were "administratively dissolved," the lawsuit said.

Rasmussen also operated Rasmussen Enterprises LLC, originally based in Pocatello. But he passed ownership to other individuals and no longer is associated with the company, which also does business as Gables Senior Living and The Gables of Idaho Falls, according to the lawsuit.

Additionally, one of the new owners of Rasmussen Enterprises also formed Gables of Ammon Management LLC.

"Rasmussen Enterprises LLC, its current owners and the other businesses are not implicated in the allegations in the complaint, but are identified here because of the similarity of names," the lawsuit states.

The Finance Department cautions investors about promissory notes, which often are a favored investment vehicle of Ponzi schemes.