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SURE VENTURES PARTNER FINED, BARRED

A partner in a supposed currency trading venture in Amherst has been barred from telemarketing and investment industries in New York, according to state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's office.

Jeffrey R. Lusthaus of Williamsville has also paid $61,000 to the state to reimburse investors, plus $2,000 in costs, Spitzer's office said in a statement.

Lusthaus and Anthony Milano operated Sure Ventures FX Group in Amherst, which marketed investments in foreign currency, according to court papers. The company, also known as Sure Ventures Management and Consulting, pitched the investments from December of 2002 until about August of 2003.

Eleven out-of-state investors gave the company $61,000, but no currency investments were made, according to a complaint filed in state Supreme Court in Erie County.

The Attorney General's office continues to investigate Milano. The case is being handled by the Attorney General's Buffalo office.

Lusthaus's attorney, Lawrence J. Mattar, was unavailable. Milano could not be reached for comment.

Lusthaus agreed to the restitution Sept. 23 without admitting wrongdoing. Any funds not distributed to investors by Dec. 1 will be returned to him, the agreement states. Individual investors are to release him from further claims in return for restitution.

Investors should be wary about telemarketers promising high returns on investments, the Attorney General's office said. Individuals can file a complaint or report investment scams to the office's consumer help line, (800) 771-7755.

e-mail: fwilliams@buffnews.com

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