This post was written by Hannah Chanpong.
The head of a Florida investment firm catering to federal law enforcement officers was found dead of a gunshot wound in his car at a Jacksonville, Fla., park on Tuesday morning, four days after he notified his clients that he was shutting down his investment fund.
Local police are now investigating the death of K. Wayne McLeod, 48, who was president and CEO of the investment firm Federal Employee Benefits Group, Inc. (FEBG). The firm's mission is to "to educate and maximize the financial well being of all Federal employees," according to its website.
In an e-mail dated June 18, McLeod apologized "from the bottom of [his] heart" for suspending his clients' interest payments. He wrote that he "prays" that his clients "can and will forgive" him. He further wrote, "For those who are receiving current income via the interest payments for the month of June and beyond, those payments have been suspended and nothing further will be sent. You should expect to be contacted in the coming days or weeks by the regulators charged with this termination/task. I have spent the vast majority of my adult life helping tens of thousand federal employee's become better prepared for their financial future and I am proud of that legacy."
One client who received the message told CBS affiliate WTEV in Jacksonville that it sent her "into a panic." The woman, whose husband works for a federal agency, said they have been investing with McLeod for 12 years. "We were very pleased with him," she told WTEV. She said that she and her husband spoke with McLeod on Saturday, when he swore to the couple that their money was safe. Now she fears that she has lost "hundreds of thousands" of dollars.
McLeod reportedly told his client that an official from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would contact her about getting her money back. When she tried to contact the SEC, the agency did not give her any information.
According to sources, the Florida Office of Financial Regulation received a consumer complaint in 2007 regarding McLeod and his "business activities." Sources say the Office took the appropriate action. An SEC spokesperson would not confirm or deny to CBS News that an investigation is taking place.
Filings by FEBG, Inc. don't appear on the SEC website although some investment advisers are required to file with the agency. A registration filing does appear for F&S Asset Management Group, Inc., another firm led by McLeod. According to the most recent filing, from 2005, the firm had assets under management of $38,420,065 and served 649 clients that year. The website shows that the firm accommodates federal and state employees.
Calls to FEBG, Inc.'s office were diverted to a voice mailbox that is full.