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STATE COMPTROLLER LEWIS TAKES LEGAL ACTION AGAINST TAMPA INVESTMENT COMPANY

 TALLAHASSEE, Fla., June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- State Comptroller Gerald Lewis today took legal action to force a Tampa investment company to turn over business records to the state.
 The action, which was filed in Hillsborough Circuit Court, was taken after the company -- Premier Benefit Capital Trust -- failed to produce records following the issuance of a subpoena by Lewis' office.
 Investigators in the Comptroller's office believe that the company, through related companies and two individuals identified in court papers as trustees of Premier, may have sold up to $2 million in unregistered capital notes/certificates.
 The offering, which was advertised in local newspapers, promised investors a 12 percent return, Lewis said.
 Much of the marketing of the notes/certificates were made out of offices in Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville and were sold by a company affiliated with Premier. It is unclear as to how much money was invested in the offerings by Florida residents.
 The investigation was triggered by inquiries from a number of citizens and prospective investors, who wanted to know about the legitimacy of the offering.
 At least one other state -- Pennsylvania -- has issued an order prohibiting Premier from selling its capital certificates in its jurisdiction, but the company responded with a notice to disregard the order, Lewis said.
 "Any company wanting to do business in Florida must play by the rules," Lewis said. "That means treating the public fairly and providing the proper authorities with records when they're requested."
 -0- 6/2/93
 /CONTACT: Terence McElroy of the Florida Office of Comptroller, 904-488-4844/


CO: Florida Office of Comptroller; Premier Benefit Capital Trust ST: Florida IN: FIN SU:

JB-SS -- FL008 -- 4563 06/02/93 15:24 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 2, 1993
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