JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Secretary of State Jason Kander this week shut down a St. Charles County-based scheme that took in more than $725,000 from 16 Missourians. Kander’s office discovered that Christopher Cristea of St. Charles and David Corey Tolle of Wentzville used Cristol Enterprises, a Las Vegas company, to sell unregistered investments in mining operations in Arizona, Oregon and Liberia.
“Investments involving natural resource ventures can sometimes be a ploy for schemers looking to con hardworking Missourians,” Kander said.
Over the course of 11 months beginning in August 2009, Cristea and Tolle sought out individuals to buy shares in Cristol Enterprises. At the time, both Cristea and Tolle were officers of the company. O’Fallon real estate agent Donna Marie Andres, who was barred from the securities industry in 1999 for misappropriating funds, also allegedly helped solicit investors for the scheme.
Cristea allegedly informed investors that their funds would be used to purchase equipment for his mines—a low-risk investment with high returns, he told them. He even valued the Arizona mine at as much as $1.15 billion and guaranteed some investors a return of five times their original investment. Others were promised as much $170,000 per month, according to Kander’s office.
But some of the investor funds were never used for any of the mining operations. Kander’s office’s investigation revealed that Cristea used investor funds to make payments to his personal bank accounts, his mother, and a beauty college.
As a result of the investigation, Cristea and Tolle are prohibited from making any further investment sales until a final judgment is issued. Kander is also seeking an order requiring the men to pay restitution to the investors they harmed.