Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Mississippi Secretary of State Issues Cease and Desist Order Against GS Partners Global, Josip Heit, and Richard L. Shoto

JACKSON, Miss – Secretary of State Michael Watson announced an emergency enforcement action to stop an ongoing internal scheme threatening immediate and irreparable harm. The action accuses GS Partners Global (GS Partners), GS Partners Chairman of the Board Josip Heit, and Mississippi representative of GS Partners Richard L. Shoto, of offering and selling fraudulent certificates tied to digital assets, as well as investments in a staking pool in a proprietary metaverse.

The action was the product of a working group of securities regulators from the United States and Canada. They coordinated their investigations as part of a working group, and this filing marks the most recent effort to protect the public from alleged misconduct.

This action is representative of the importance of continuous communication between the Secretary of State’s Office and the public on how to identify, avoid, and report potentially fraudulent activity. If an offer is described as risk free, guaranteed, and very lucrative, please protect yourself by calling our Securities Team for verification,” Secretary Michael Watson said.

According to the order, GS Partners is currently marketing securities– “MetaCertificates” tied to digital assets. Investors allegedly purchase the certificates by paying GS Partners, and then continue to pay GS Partners to unlock the certificates' features. These features purportedly increase the value of the certificate and activate the payment of weekly and monthly profits. In some cases, investors that unlock streams of income must continue to pay money to prevent the features from lapsing, according to the order. These certificates are unregistered securities in Mississippi.

Investments were promoted through a multilevel marketing scheme, and through numerous social media accounts and video conferences. Shoto promoted GS Partners investments in Mississippi, recommending the purchase of GS Partners certificates. In doing so, GS Partners and Shoto acted as unregistered investment advisers or investment adviser representatives.

The order prohibits the named parties from further offers and/or sales of unregistered securities as well as acting as unregistered broker-dealers, agents, investment advisers, or investment adviser representatives.

For additional information or questions, contact the Securities Division at (601) 359-1334. Investors living in states other than Mississippi, or in provinces, can contact their local regulator agency.


Secretary Watson would like to recognize the dedicated work of the Securities Division, as well as the valuable assistance of other U.S. and Canadian members of the working group.