According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) financial advisor Barry Hartman (Hartman) was terminated by the firm due to alleged violation of firm policies including the participation in undisclosed outside business activities and private securities transactions, known as “selling away” in the industry.
Hartman was registered with brokerage firm FSC Securities Corporation (FSC) from 2002 until March 2015, when the broker was terminated. During this time Hartman conducted his securities business through an entity called Rocky Mountain Financial, LLC. While the size and scope of Hartman’s activities is still under investigation, investors have come forward claiming that Hartman sold them promissory notes and warrants in a company called Invizeon Corporation.
Invizeon is a Montana based software business that develops software platforms and solutions for government and enterprise organizations. The software includes platforms to manage information from sensing and detection technologies. In recent years, Invizeon has acquired several businesses including Seafaring Security Services, Slipstream Resources, and Gaga Africa. Invizeon continues to raise capital through private placement regulation D offerings. Moreover, on those filings Hartman has been listed as an owner of Invizeon.
Despite repeated capital raises Invizeon may be in financial trouble that could result in the company shutting down.
The allegations against Hartman are consistent with “selling away” securities violation. In the industry the term selling away refers to when a financial advisor solicits investments in companies, promissory notes, or other securities that are not pre-approved by the broker’s affiliated firm. However, even though the brokerage firm claim ignorance of their advisor’s activities, under the FINRA rules, a brokerage firm owes a duty to properly monitor and supervise its employees in order to detect and prevent brokers from offering investments in this fashion. In order to properly supervise their brokers each firm is required to have procedures in order to monitor the activities of each advisor’s activities and interaction with the public. Selling away often occurs in brokerage firm that either fail to put in place a reasonable supervisory system or fail to actually implement that system. Supervisory failures allow brokers to engage in unsupervised misconduct that can include all manner improper conduct including selling away.
In cases of selling away the investor is unaware that the advisor’s investments are improper. In many of these cases the investor will not learn that the broker’s activities were wrongful until after the investment scheme is publicized, the broker is fired or charged by law enforcement, or stops returning client calls altogether.
Investors who have suffered losses may be able recover their losses through securities arbitration. The attorneys at Gana LLP are experienced in representing investors in cases of selling away and brokerage firms failure to supervise their representatives. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.