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Articles Tagged with LPL Financial

San Diego-Based Brokerage Firm Under Scrutiny Over Sierra Income Sales

LPL Financial Holdings (LPLA), the largest independent brokerage firm in the United States, has finalized its acquisition of Lucia Securities, a San Diego-based broker-dealer and registered investment advisor. With over $1.5B in assets, Lucia Securities and its advisors will operate under the name Lucia Capital Group. 

Even prior to the acquisition, our San Diego broker fraud attorneys at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at Investorlawyers.com) were investigating Lucia Securities over its sale of Sierra Income Corporation investments to customers. LPL Financial also used to market and sell investments in this nontraded business development company (BDC) to investors but stopped.

Lax Oversight Purportedly Allowed An LPL Broker to Continue Defrauding Customers in Ponzi Scam

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has fined LPL Financial Holdings (LPLA) $6.5M due to purported supervisory inadequacies related to recordkeeping, fingerprinting employees that were non-registered representatives, and its financial advisers’ consolidated reports. The self-regulatory organization (SRO) found that due to weak oversight of these consolidated reports, an ex-broker was enabled to continue committing a $5M Ponzi scheme. 

The former registered investment advisor, identified by Advisors Hub as ex-Norwalk, Connecticut broker James Thomas Booth,  pleaded guilty to securities fraud in November. He was sentenced to 42 months behind bars. Booth has been named in 36 customer disputes.  

Ex-LPL Broker Marketed Non-Traded Investments To Mississippi Retiree 

A retired investor has filed a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration claim against LPL Financial and its former broker, Tamber King Proctor, seeking up to $100K in damages. 

The claimant contends that LPL Financial and Proctor should have never recommended that he invest in the business development company (BDC), FS Energy & Power Fund (FSEP), and the Northstar Healthcare Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). 

Former LPL Financial Investment Advisor Was Also Was Let Go By  Integrated Wealth Concepts 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed civil charges accusing former LPL Financial (LPLA) registered representative, Matthew O. Clason, of defrauding an older investor of over $300K. 

In August, Clason, who worked out of Glastonbury, Connecticut, was let go by LPL Financial. He also was fired by Integrated Wealth Concepts, where he was an investment advisor. In September, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) barred Clason. 

Senior Investor’s Loses Retirement Funds Because of Unsuitable Investment

An Arkansas retiree has filed a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority  (FINRA) arbitration claim against LPL Financial for losses he suffered because of the unsuitable recommendation of Rhett Douglas Bedwell, one of the broker-dealer’s former registered representatives. Bedwell, who is no longer a  stockbroker or investment advisor, is accused of defrauding a number of customers. 

Now, this retiree is seeking up to $500K in investment loss damages after Bedwell invested a significant portion of his retirement funds in what appears to have been a Ponzi scam involving Small World Capital and the now defunct, Graysail Capital. 

LPL Blocks Sales of Nontraded Real Estate Investment Trusts and Publicly Traded Property Interval Funds 

This week, LPL Financial (LPLA) announced that it had suspended its sales of several nontraded REITs, as well as a number of publicly traded property interval funds. This is because the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was placing these investments at a higher risk of losses. 

In an email to InvestmentNews, LPL EVP of Products and Platforms, Rob Pettman, wouldn’t offer the names of the funds but did note that the broker-dealer hoped to offer them to investors again once the markets had calmed.

Former LPL Financial Broker Borrowed $1.3M From Customer Without Notifying Firm

Mark Lamkin, an ex-LPL Financial representative, has been suspended by the FINRA for three months. Lamkin, who is now a Calton & Associates broker, is accused of borrowing $1.3M in total from an LPL Financial Services customer between 2011 and 2017 without getting written approval from or notifying the broker-dealer. This is not the first time he is accused of broker misconduct. 

Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) is investigating claims involving Mark Lamkin, who has been a registered representative for 28 years. Contact our stockbroker fraud attorneys today. 

Broker-Dealers Accused of Not Properly Supervising Custodial Accounts

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced that it has fined five major firms $1.4M in total for not reasonably supervising custodial accounts. The broker-dealers are:

  • Citigroup (C), which will pay $300K.

Cleveland, Ohio

Shepherd, Smith, Edwards & Kantas (“SSEK”), a law firm specializing in representing wronged investors, is looking at allegations by FINRA into former Linsco Private Ledger (LPL) financial advisor, Jeffery Vasiloff (“Vasiloff”).  Vasiloff worked at LPL in 2018 and was not employed very long.  Vasiloff was fired, according to FINRA,  due to allegations of utilizing discretion without obtaining the proper written authority.  As a result, he was also suspended from acting as a financial advisor by FINRA.  He previously worked at Invest Financial Corporation and appears to be based out of Vermilion, Ohio.  After serving his suspension, Vasiloff became employed by JW Cole Financial.

Vasiloff never admitted nor denied FINRA’s finding.  However, he consented to the sanctions imposed and accepted the findings that he acted improperly by refusing to obtain prior consent, in writing, from the client before acting on that client’s behalf.  LPL simply reported to FINRA that Vasiloff was discharged for “use of discretion without prior written authorization.”

Shepherd, Smith, Edwards & Kantas (“SSEK”), a law firm specializing in representing wronged investors, is looking into allegations made by FINRA in a recent AWC filing against Booth.   In February 2018 LPL acquired INVEST.  Booth had been working at INVEST since 2005 and has been a broker since 1988.  In the AWC it is alleged that Booth received client assets with the promise of investing said assets on behalf of the clients.  Booth instead used client assets for his own personal use and never actually invested the assets.

According to Booth’s official record or CRD, he has 25 disclosures or claims against him.  This is an unusually high number, and generally indicates poor supervision.  Almost all of the complaints are on the violative conduct listed above.  According to the FINRA CRD report, most of his former clients complain of a “Ponzi scheme using multiple shell companies.”

LPL fired Booth, and according to LPL this was done after Booth admitted to misappropriation of multiple client’s assets for his own use. It should be noted that FINRA has also barred Booth from the industry and can no longer act as a stockbroker or advisor under FINRA.

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