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Securities Cases: Massachusetts Charges Royal Alliance Over Unsuitable Investment Advice, Ex-Schwab Rep. is Fined For Alleged False Statements, and Texas Broker Accused of Bank Fraud Gets His CFP Designation Suspended

Former Centaurus Financial Broker’s Certified Financial Planner Designation is Suspended
The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has suspended Texas broker’s Larry J. Templin’s CFP designation. The interim suspension comes after Templin, who is accused of bank fraud, refused to provide the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra) with information related to the allegations against him.

Templin was a Centaurus Financial broker until last year when he was fired by the Texas-based brokerage firm. Previously, he was registered with USAllianz Securities and First Global Capital, which are both headquartered in Texas. Templin worked in the securities industry for over 20 years.

Last year, FINRA barred him from the industry.

Massachusetts Regulator Files Charges Against Royal Alliance and Its Investment Adviser
The Massachusetts Securities Division of the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth has filed civil charges accusing Royal Alliance Associates and investment adviser Steven F. Davis of making unsuitable investment recommendations to two investors.

The Royal Alliance customers, an older Berkley, MA couple in their 60’s, had several accounts at the firm, were inexperienced investors, could only handle a moderate level of risk, and wanted long-term growth. They had worked with the broker-dealer since 2007, and Davis took over as their financial representative in 2014.

According to Secretary of the Commonwealth William Gavin’s office, Davis breached his fiduciary duty to the couple when he recommended that they move to an annuity investment that had a much lower interest rate than the one they were already with. As a result, the state regulator contends, the two investors earned over $43K less than they would have had they stayed with the original investment. The couple was also fined over $15K in penalties because Davis didn’t file certain paperwork related to the annuity exchange in a timely fashion.

The state said that Davis had no reasonable grounds for recommending the exchange. Meantime, he earned nearly $17,500 in commissions for the annuity sale.

The Massachusetts regulator is accusing Royal Alliance of not adequately supervising Davis.

Galvin’s complaint against Royal Alliance comes just days after FINRA a FINRA arbitration panel found that one of the firm’s former brokers, Gary Basralian, stole money from a 54-year-old widow who has a brain injury. Basralian himself already pleaded guilty to criminal charges accusing him of defrauding customers of at least $2M. The arbitration panel, in this investor case, is also holding the brokerage firm liable. Both Royal Alliance and Basralian must each pay $2.1M plus $500K for a total of over $4.2M.

Ex-Charles Schwab Broker to Pay $5K and Serve 90-Day Suspension
FINRA has suspended former Charles Schwab & Co. (SCHW) broker Deming Payne for lying to the brokerage firm about a phishing scam that caused him to wire almost $800K to someone pretending to be one of his customers. Payne, who left Schwab in 2017, has admitted to violating the brokerage firm’s policy related to documenting outbound calls.

According to the SRO’s letter of acceptance, waiver and consent, someone posing as a certain customer sent Payne an email request asking that several wire transfers be issued from the customer’s account. Payne is accused of not contacting the actual customer and getting verbal verification of these requests.

FINRA contends that there were several times when Payne falsely told the Schwab that the customer had given him verbal verification of the wire transfers. He also allegedly told another Schwab employee to also make the same false claim.

Schwab has since paid back the customer whose money was stolen in the scam.

Investor Fraud Lawyers
At Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LLP (SSEK Law Firm) our investor lawyers work with clients that have lost money due to broker fraud, broker negligence, and inadequate supervision by a brokerage firm. If you were an investor represented by former Schwab broker Payne, Royal Alliance investment adviser Steven Davis or former broker Gary Basralian, or any other financial adviser or broker that you believe may have been responsible for you sustaining unnecessary investment losses, contact SSEK Law Firm today.

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