According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Brian Folland (Folland) has been hit with at least 30 customer complaints over his career and two tax liens. Customers have filed complaints against Folland alleging securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, negligence, misrepresentations, breach of fiduciary duty, violation of blue sky statutes in several states, and fraud among other claims. The claims against Folland involve various types of securities including private placements, direct participation programs and limited partnerships which include investments like oil & gas, non-traded real estate investment trusts (Non-Traded REITs), equipment leasing programs. In addition, in July 2012, Folland disclosed a tax lien of $334,995 owed. Tax liens of that size provide an incentive and conflict of interest in the recommendation of high commission based products such as private placements and direct participation programs that often pay commission between 7-10%.
Folland entered the securities industry in 1995. From July 2007 until May 2013, Folland was associated with brokerage firm National Securities Corporation (National Securities) out of the firm’s Fresno, California office location.
All advisers have a fundamental responsibility to deal fairly with investors including making suitable investment recommendations. In order to make suitable recommendations the broker must have a reasonable basis for recommending the product or security based upon the broker’s investigation of the investments properties including its benefits, risks, tax consequences, and other relevant factors. In addition, the broker must also understand the customer’s specific investment objectives to determine whether or not the specific product or security being recommended is appropriate for the customer based upon their needs.
The number of customer complaints against Folland is high relative to his peers. According to InvestmentNews, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records. Brokers must publicly disclose certain types of reportable events on their CRD including but not limited to customer complaints. In addition to disclosing client disputes brokers must divulge IRS tax liens, judgments, and criminal matters. However, FINRA’s records are not always complete according to a Wall Street Journal story that checked with 26 state regulators and found that at least 38,400 brokers had regulatory or financial red flags such as a personal bankruptcy that showed up in state records but not on BrokerCheck. More disturbing is the fact that 19,000 out of those 38,400 brokers had spotless BrokerCheck records.
Investors who have suffered investment losses due to churning activity may be able recover their losses through securities arbitration. The attorneys at Gana LLP are experienced in representing investors concerning securities violations. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.