Everest Wealth Management, the Towson firm known for its "Money Guys" infomercials, and its owner have been permanently barred from the investment advisory business in a sweeping order issued this week by the Maryland attorney general's office.
The order also revokes owner Philip Rousseaux's registration as an investment adviser and slaps him and his companies with $255,000 in fines.
The securities division of Attorney General Brian E. Frosh's office accused Everest and Rousseaux in 2015 of fraudulently misrepresenting the risks of their investment strategy. The final order issued Tuesday by Special Assistant Attorney General Sarah McCafferty is the latest development in that case.
Rousseaux said he plans to appeal the order.
"Now that we finally are out of the rigged administrative law system, we look forward to the appeal and finally having a neutral Circuit Court judge review our case," Rousseaux said. "The law is on our side, and we are confident we will prevail on the merits of the case."
Rousseaux has long accused Frosh of unfairly targeting his company.
On Wednesday, Frosh fired back.
"It's not personal even a little bit," Frosh said. "Our securities division prosecuted these guys because they broke the law. Period."
In addition to the other penalties, the order suspends Everest Investment Advisors' registration as an investment adviser for one year.
Frosh said the penalties are "tough and appropriate."
Everest also faced an order from the Maryland Insurance Administration that sought to revoke Rousseaux's license and fine him and the company $62,400. As of October, Everest and the insurance administration were discussing a settlement that would keep the firm in business.
In addition to its infomercials, Everest has sponsored Orioles radio broadcasts on WJZ-FM and has advertised in The Baltimore Sun.