Two Montana investors were bilked out of over $100,000 by a salesman for a financial firm out of New York, and as a result, he has been barred from doing business in Montana.

Spokeswoman for Montana Securities Commissioner Monica Lindeen, Jennifer McKee, said William Horbatuk, has been permanently barred from doing business in Montana and agreed to a $10,000 fine.

"His employer PHX, which is sometimes known as Phoenix or Blackwell Markets Incorporated, were orders to keep an eye on Mr. Horbatuk, because he was suspected of using a practice called 'churning', in other words, doing unnecessary trades in order to increase commissions," McKee said. "Last year, two Montanans who invested over $100,000 accused Horbatuk of churning. PHX was not paying attention as they had been instructed to do."

McKee said actions have already been taken against the company and Horbatuk.

"We came in as the securities regulator and reached an agreement with PHX and Mr, Harbatuk, where he is now permanently barred from doing business in Montana and has paid a $10,000 fine," she said. "We also asked PHX to pay a $30,000 fine and pay more than $130,000 to the Montana Victims Fund, and all that has been paid."

The case has been under investigation since last October. The final order in the case was recently signed and the two Montana victims received their restitution in late April.