Articles Tagged with Investment Adviser Fraud

Ex-Windsor, Georgia Investment Adviser Was Fired by Hamilton Investment Counsel and LPL

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed civil charges against Eric Shea Hollifield, a former LPL Financial broker and registered investment adviser with Hamilton Investment Counsel, LLC in Georgia. The regulator contends that he allegedly misappropriated at least $1.7M from one brokerage investor and two investment advisory clients. He then used their money to pay for his personal expenses, including a 37-acre property with a house.  

According to the SEC, Hollifield allegedly moved customers’ funds without permission to an outside business controlled by him. On top of that, he sent some of those funds to his account. Allegedly, Hollifield sold securities in the brokerage client’s account and suggested that the customer move $1.24M to a different financial institution to earn more interest. After gaining the client’s consent, he transferred the money to a real estate closing agent to buy his house. Due to this, the Commission is seeking permanent injunctions and monetary relief. 

The SEC is charging Reliance Financial Advisors and its co-owners Walter F. Grenda Jr. and Timothy S. Dembski with securities fraud. The agency says that the Buffalo, NY-based investment advisory firm and the two men misled clients when recommending that they get involved in a hedge fund managed by portfolio manager Scott M. Stephan.

Grenda and Dembski of Reliance Financial Advisors guided senior investors toward making highly speculative investments in the Prestige Wealth Management Fund, which Stephan managed, even though they allegedly knew he was inexperienced in this type of investing. The clients, who were either close to retirement, retired, or living on fixed incomes, collectively invested around $12 million.

Stephan was supposedly going to employ a trading strategy that involved a specific computer “algorithm,” which actually only day traded. Instead, he started making trades manually, his approach eventually playing a part in the hedge fund’s failure. The SEC has said that Stephan’s investing experience was greatly exaggerated in offering materials. (The majority of his career involved collecting car loans that were overdue.)

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