The Richmond office of a North Carolina-based financial firm was left last week in a state of uncertainty after the company’s headquarters and home of its CEO in Raleigh were searched by federal agents.
Multiple news outlets in North Carolina reported July 12 that agents with the FBI and U.S. Treasury executed search warrants for the downtown Raleigh office of VisionQuest Wealth Management, which expanded into Richmond in 2015 by acquiring longtime local firm Deckert Financial Management and boasting an appetite for rapid growth.
The home of VisionQuest chief executive Stephen Peters also was searched.
Kevin Deckert, who sold Deckert Financial to VisionQuest and agreed to run the firm’s Richmond office for at least five years after the deal, said he was going into the weekend searching for answers.
“I don’t know any more than what I’m seeing on the news,” Deckert said. “What the news seems to say is (federal authorities) picked up records. I’m here in Richmond and I’m trying to hear from Raleigh what’s going on.”
FBI spokeswoman Shelley Lynch confirmed the reports and said agents executed two search warrants as part of an ongoing investigation. She said she could not comment further, including whether the investigation pertains to the company’s Richmond operations.
Deckert said the company’s Richmond office at 812 Moorefield Park Drive has not been subject of any such searches.
He said he’s called Peters for information and is awaiting a response. Peters could not be reached for comment last week. Calls to his office went to a voicemail box, which was full.
Scant clues are offered in a civil case filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in federal court on the same day of the raids in Raleigh. The case docket includes two sealed orders not viewable by the public.
The lone documents that are open mention assets of Stephen Peters, Amy Peters, VisionQuest Wealth LLC, VisionQuest Wealth Management LLC and VisionQuest Capital LLC.
One of the documents states that the case “imposes a restraint on the sale, encumbrance, or other disposition” of a 92-acre property on Theys Road in Raleigh, which news reports say is part of Peters’ home.
A 2012 deed for the land is included in court records. The grantee was Harris-Peters LLC, which has the same 112 E. Hargett St. address in downtown Raleigh as VisionQuest’s headquarters.
No formal allegations have been made, according to those records.
Deckert Financial had about $70 million in client assets went it was acquired by VisionQuest two years ago. That brought the combined companies up to about $300 million under management. The company also has an office in Charlotte, according to its website.
Peters said at the time the company had identified Richmond, Charlotte and Orlando as markets it would tackle in an initial wave of growth to become a “regional powerhouse when it comes to buying advisory firms in the Southeast.”