Articles Tagged with LPL Financial

shutterstock_168737270-300x168Our firm is investigating claims made by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Dominic DeBruin (DeBruin), formerly associated with LPL Financial, LLC (LPL Financial).  According to brokercheck, FINRA found that DeBruin refused to provide information and documents and to appear for on-the-record testimony as requested by FINRA concerning a member firm’s Form U5 reporting that he was under internal review for depositing client’s funds related to potential private securities transactions undisclosed to the firm into a bank account DeBruin controlled.

At this time it is unclear the total scope and extent of these outside business activities and private transactions.  However, according to DeBruin’s disclosures he is affiliated with the following entities: 1) Capricorn Partners, LLC – DeBruin’s securities d/b/a; 2) Out of Order LLC – an entertainment boking agency; 3) Goodlife Financial Group – an investment d/b/a; 4) Top 5 Entertainment.  The providing of loans or selling of notes and other investments outside of a brokerage firm constitutes impermissible private securities transactions – a practice known in the industry as “selling away”.  Often times brokers who engage in this practice use outside businesses in order to market their securities.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_138129767-300x199Our firm is investigating claims made by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Joseph Likens (Likens).  According to brokercheck, in Likens failed to respond to FINRA’s requests for information resulting in a bar.  FINRA stated that Likens refused to appear for on-the-record testimony related an investigation into allegations that he may have engaged in private securities transactions.  At this time the scope of Likens activities and the specific investments are not reported.  However, Likens disclosed outside business activities involving PWA Network.

The FINRA investigation followed Likens’ termination from his previous employer LPL Financial LLC (LPL) in May 2016.  Likens worked out of a d/b/a Cornerstone Wealth Management.  At that time, Likens was terminated after allegations were made that he engaged in trading away from the firm.  In November 2016, a customer alleged that Likens sold away from the firm an investment made in 2011 causing $120,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_93851422-300x240The securities fraud attorneys at Gana LLP have recently filed a complaint with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on behalf of clients alleging that Erryn Barkett (Barkett) engaged in securities fraud by selling unapproved investments and inappropriate and costly alternative investments and private placements to the clients.  The claim was brought against brokerage firm Next Financial Group, Inc.  (Next Financial) alleging that the firm failed to supervise Barkett’s misconduct.  Barkett is currently associated with LPL Financial LLC (LPL).

According to Barkett’s brokercheck records Barkett has been subject to one regulatory complaint, four customer complaints, and has six financial disclosures.  The regulatory complaint involves allegations that Barkett solicited multiple investors to invest in an unapproved security called Voyager Financial Group, LLC.

Barkett has disclosed at least 11 outside business activities.  These activities include Barkett’s d/b/a Barkett Allen Capital LLC.  In addition, Barkett disclosed his involvement with SkyPix, LLC, BAS, LLC, Flagship Properties, LLC, Sunnyside Ranch, LLC, Produce Insight Panel, and Wheelman, LLC.  The providing of loans or selling of notes and other investments outside of a brokerage firm constitutes impermissible private securities transactions – a practice known in the industry as “selling away”.  Often times brokers who engage in this practice use outside businesses in order to market their securities.  In this case the claimants alleged that Barkett solicited them to invest in several business ventures including SkyPix and a land deal.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_1832895-300x199Our firm is investigating claims made by LPL Financial LLC (LPL) when the firm terminated broker David Garces (Garces).  According to the firm, Garces was discharged in July 2016 after allegation were made that Garces engaged in an outside business activity without prior notification to the firm.

According to Garces brokercheck records Garces has disclosed only one outside business activity called TMS Merchant Solutions which Garces is the president of and is involved in selling credit card terminals.  It is unclear if other business activities are involved in LPL’s allegations.  However, often times undisclosed outside business activities are used by brokers to provide loans or sell of notes and other investments to clients outside of a brokerage firm.  These types of transactions constitute impermissible private securities transactions – a practice known in the industry as “selling away”.  Often times brokers who engage in this practice use outside businesses in order to market their securities.  At this time it is unknown and has not been alleged that Garces engaged in selling away.

Garces entered the securities industry in 2012.  From March 2012 through April 2013 Garces was associated with Metlife Securities Inc.  Thereafter, from February 2015 until August 2016, Garces was registered with LPL out of the firm’s Brooklyn, New York office location.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_120556300-300x300Our firm is investigating claims made by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) when the regulator barred broker Ken Balser (Balser).  According to FINRA settlement, Balser consented to sanctions that he refused to appear for testimony and provide documents and information to FINRA concerning allegations that he engaged in private securities transactions.

In July 2016, Cetera Advisors LLC (Cetera) discharged Balser for cause alleging that Balser engaged in private securities transactions.

According to Balser’s brokercheck records Balser has at least three disclosed outside business activities.  These activities include a d/b/a Secure Wealth Management.  In addition, Balser disclosed a fixed insurance business and Dave Ramsey Radio Show Sponsor.  The providing of loans or selling of notes and other investments outside of a brokerage firm constitutes impermissible private securities transactions – a practice known in the industry as “selling away”.  Often times brokers who engage in this practice use outside businesses in order to market their securities.

Balser entered the securities industry in 1999.  From March 2012 through October 2013 Balser was associated with LPL Financial LLC.  Thereafter, from October 2013 through July 2016 Balser was registered with Cetera out of the firm’s Colorado Springs, Colorado office location.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_62862913Our firm is investigating claims made by VisionPoint Advisory Group, LLC and LPL Financial LLC (LPL) against broker Vincent Sturm (Sturm).  According to the two firms Sturm was discharged in August 2016 after allegation were made that Sturm violated firm policies by soliciting loans.  VisionPoint stated that no funds were received by Sturm and the loan was not made.  No other details concerning this activity were reported.

According to Sturm’s brokercheck records Sturm disclosed an outside business activity – Generations Wealth Advisors.  The providing of loans or selling of notes and other investments outside of a brokerage firm constitutes impermissible private securities transactions – a practice known in the industry as “selling away”.  Often times brokers who engage in this practice use outside businesses in order to market their securities.

Sturm entered the securities industry in 1998.  From January 2009 through March 2011 Sturm was associated with Securities America, Inc.  From February 2011 until December 2013, Sturm was registered with Broker Dealer Financial Services Corp.  Thereafter, from November 2013 until February 2016 Sturm was associated with InvestaCorp, Inc.  From January 2016 until August 2016, Sturm was associated with LPL.  Finally, since September 2016, Sturm has been registered with Berthel, Fisher & Company Financial Services, Inc. out of the firm’s Perry, Iowa office location.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_170709014Our firm is investigating claims made by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Michael Barranco (Barranco). According to BrokerCheck records Barranco is subject to one regulator complaint, one employment separation for cause, and one financial disclosure.  The FINRA regulatory matter concerns an investigation surrounding alleged sales of private securities transactions. (FINRA No. 2015048273301).

According to FINRA, between 2010 and 2015, Barranco was involved in almost 40 private securities transactions with three different issuers.  In 2010, Barranco requested and received permission from LPL to act as a consultant and provide business planning advice to an entity (TMG) founded by two of his customers.  FINRA found that Barranco also participated in the solicitation of investments by firm customers and others in 13% Senior Notes issued by TMG,

FINRA found that between November 2010 and February 2011, Barranco participated in 35 transactions through which 27 individuals invested at least $2,087,000 in the TMG notes.  In addition, FINRA also found that in 2014, the founders of TMG purchased a distressed real estate development (IBH) and issued 12% Senior Notes which Barranco recommended to two of his customers who invested $750,000.  The providing of loans or selling of notes and other investments outside of a brokerage firm constitutes impermissible private securities transactions – a practice known in the industry as “selling away”.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_150746The investment fraud lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating the employment termination filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) by LPL Financial LLC (LPL) involving broker Kevin Kuhlow (Kuhlow) out of the firm’s Los Gatos, California office.  According to BrokerCheck records Kuhlow has been subject to seven customer complaints and two financial disclosures.

According to LPL, the firm terminated Aguilar in February 2016 after alleging his conduct included unapproved investments in violation of firm policy.  The providing of loans or selling of notes and other investments outside of a brokerage firm constitutes impermissible private securities transactions – a practice known in the industry as “selling away”.

Subsequently, in March 2016, FINRA brought a regulatory action and barred Kuhlow from the industry.  (FINRA No. 2016048430801).  FINRA alleged that Kuhlow consented to the sanction that he refused to produce documents and information requested by FINRA in connection with its investigation into the allegations that he had violated LPL’s policies by directing clients to an unapproved investment.

At this time it is unclear the nature and scope of Kuhlow’s private securities transactions.  However, according to brokercheck records, Kuhlow has disclosed OBAs listed as including Peninsula Wealth Management Group, Clear Mark Wealth Management, Cammarano Insurance Services.  Often times, brokers sell promissory notes and other investments through side businesses as accountants, lawyers, real estate brokers, or insurance agents to clients of those side practices.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_20002264The investment lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating the regulatory action brought by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Brian Smit (Smit) formerly working out of the Sioux Falls, South Dakota office of LPL Financial LLC (LPL).  LPL terminated Smit in August 2015 stating that the broker engaged in unapproved investments.  Thereafter, in March 2016, FINRA barred Smit stating that Smit consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he refused to appear for on-the-record testimony requested by FINRA related to the alleged participation in unapproved private securities transaction.

The providing of loans or selling of promissory notes and other investments outside of a brokerage firm constitutes impermissible private securities transactions – a practice known in the industry as “selling away”.  At this time it unclear the nature and scope of Smit’s outside business activities and private securities transactions.  However, according to Smit’s public records his outside business activities include Pinnacle Wealth Management and Smit Holdings, LLC – a rental real estate business.  Often times, brokers sell promissory notes and other investments through side businesses as accountants, lawyers, real estate agents, or insurance agents to clients of those side practices.

Smit entered the securities industry in 2010.  From Aprill 2010 until August 2015, Smit was associated with LPL.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_93851422The investment lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating the regulatory action brought by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against Christopher Burtraw (Burtraw) working out of Lakewood, Colorado alleging that the broker borrowed client funds.  The providing of loans or selling of notes and other investments outside of a brokerage firm constitutes impermissible private securities transactions – a practice known in the industry as “selling away”.  According to the FINRA regulatory action (FINRA No. 20150472061-01) Burtraw consented sanctions in the form of a permanent bar because he failed to provide documents and information requested by FINRA during the course their investigation into allegations that he borrowed funds from multiple customers.

At this time it unclear the nature and scope of Burtraw’s outside business activities and private securities transactions.  However, according to Burtraw’s public records his outside business activities includes Pacific Life Prestige Wealth Management Group.  Often times, brokers sell promissory notes and other investments through side businesses as accountants, lawyers, or insurance agents to clients of those side practices.

Burtraw entered the securities industry in 2003.  From September 2004 until November 2009, Burtraw was associated with LPL Financial Corporation.  From November 2009 until November 2014, Burtraw was associated with Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments.  Finally, from November 2014 until October 2015, Burtraw was associated with J.P. Turner & Company, L.L.C. (JP Turner).

Continue Reading