North Dakota securities officials outline scheme to sell millions in improper securities, levy $2.8M penalty

The allegations, made in an order filed by the North Dakota Securities commissioner, are the latest against Michael Kuntz, of Grand Forks, and Jeremy L. Carlson, of Fargo.

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The 320-acre facility under construction in Mesa, Arizona, once was named Bell Bank Park and was scheduled to open in January 2022.
Contributed / Legacy Sports USA

BISMARCK — North Dakota securities regulators have ordered a Fargo securities adviser, a Grand Forks investment company owner and their companies to cease selling $25 million in unregistered securities in dealings involving a troubled sports complex in Arizona once named Bell Bank Park.

Karen Tyler, the North Dakota securities commissioner, has ordered Michael Kuntz, of Grand Forks, and Jeremy L. Carlson, of Fargo, as well as companies under their control to cease and desist from the alleged sale of at least $25 million in unregistered promissory notes and from misappropriated investor funds.

Kuntz, Carlson and their companies also were ordered to pay a civil penalty of $2.8 million for investor restitution under an order issued Monday, April 24, by Tyler.

Kuntz, who is president of National Sports Opportunity Partners, a limited liability company, and Carlson, who has at times called himself treasurer of the sports partnership and is president of Jamieson Capital Financial, sold investors promissory notes or other forms of debt in at least 16 transactions totaling at least $25 million, according to an order by the North Dakota Securities Department .

That $25 million does not include alleged improper sales of $1.95 million in promissory notes by Kuntz and National Sports Opportunity Partners in a Securities Department order from July 29 or more than $17 million in pooled investment funds sold by Carlson and Jamieson Capital Financial that were the subject of a Securities Department order dated July 15, securities officials said.


More than $12 million of investor funds were used to make payments to Chad Miller, CEO of Legacy Sports USA, and Randy Miller, founder and chairman of Legacy Sports USA.

Legacy Sports USA operated a $280 million sports and entertainment park in Mesa, Arizona, formerly known as Bell Bank Park, which was developed as a nonprofit organization, Legacy Cares Inc.

The payments were represented to be for a 10% ownership stake in Legacy Sports USA purchased by National Sports Opportunity Partners; $280 million in municipal bonds issued to finance construction of the park are now in default.

Bell Bank, the naming rights sponsor of the sports complex , announced earlier this month that it was ending its partnership with Legacy Sports. Bell Bank said it terminated its agreement after numerous defaults and reports of financial concerns about the project, according to KTAR News .

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Bell Bank Park will host youth and amateur sports teams and individual and team training. It is also designed to host various events, concerts, youth sports tournaments, and fitness opportunities.. Contributed / Legacy Sports USA

Kuntz and Carlson used more than $7.5 million of investor money to pay up-front fees to unlicensed money brokers, including one located in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and several located in Las Vegas, Nevada, ostensibly to secure multimillion-dollar alternative financing commitments, according to the North Dakota Securities Department order.

On two occasions, $2.5 million of National Sports Opportunity Partners’ investor money deposited into Carlson’s Jamieson Capital Financial Bell Bank account was wired to entities in China. The money was later returned and then wired to the Las Vegas money brokers, according to the Securities Department order.

“No explanation for the involvement in these transactions of JCF (Jamieson Capital Financial), at the time a state registered investment adviser, has been provided to the Department,” securities officials said in a statement.

“The ‘pre-approved’ financing represented by the unlicensed money brokers has not materialized by the multiple and delayed dates represented, nor have any of the millions of dollars in fees paid for with NSOP (National Sports Opportunity Partners) investor money been returned,” according to North Dakota securities officials.


Securities officials also accuse Kuntz and Carlson of misappropriating investor money. Carlson is accused of using investor money entrusted to him and his firm, and Kuntz used some of the investor money for upfront fees in what officials describe as an alternative financing fraud scheme, returning some of the money to Carlson, which securities officials said he used to pay personal expenses, including payments on his lake home, boat and other personal debt.

As previously reported by The Forum, Carlson, Jamieson Capital Financial and eight private fund entities under Carlson’s control are the subject of orders issued by Tyler on July 15 and Dec. 22, suspending Jamieson Capital Financial’s investment adviser registration and alleging numerous securities law violations, with orders to repay investors.

“The investigation continues, and the Department is collaborating with other authorities on the matter,” the Securities Department statement said.

All of the respondents have asked for an administrative hearing and requested deferment of the appointment of an administrative law judge. Tyler will be requesting appointment of an administrative law judge and consolidation of the latest violations for hearing on the previous orders.

Efforts by The Forum to reach Kuntz and Carlson on Monday afternoon and evening were not successful.

Patrick Springer first joined The Forum in 1985. He covers a wide range of subjects including health care, energy and population trends. Email address:
Phone: 701-367-5294
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