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Troubled Ariz. Baptist foundation opens website for investor questions

PHOENIX (BP)–An Internet website for questions from investors has been developed by the troubled Baptist Foundation of Arizona which also said it was “drawing close to finalizing the restructuring plan.”
In a recent letter to more than 13,000 investors, BFA said the restructuring plan will be communicated to investors later in October. Terms and conditions of the plan are being negotiated, BFA said, with the newly formed nine-member Investors’ Committee. The committee is a cross-section of BFA’s clients, officials said.
More than 13,000 investors with more than $530 million in investment products are affected by an Aug. 10 Arizona Corporation Commission “cease and desist” order against the BFA. It ordered BFA to discontinue immediately the offering and selling of its investment products. According to the order, the foundation or its affiliates sold securities from Arizona through misrepresentations and omissions of fact and engaged in business practices in violation of state law.
Instead of sending a letter to investors “once every two weeks,” BFA said its www.bfaz.org website would include a list of answers to the most commonly asked investor questions and will allow investors to submit questions or comments.
There has been wide speculation about the restructuring plan in Arizona media. BFA’s leadership said although it “understands the concern caused by recent media reports about the plan,” it would be “legally and ethically inappropriate for the organization to release further details while the plan is still under development.”
BFA, an agency of the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention, has fired its three top executives, laid off 72 employees and shut down several offices since the announcement of its difficulties in August.

    About the Author

  • Herb Hollinger