Former H. Beck Broker Richard Poston Under FINRA Investigation Over Sales Practices

shutterstock_128655458The securities fraud lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints and regulatory actions filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) against broker Richard Poston (Poston). According to BrokerCheck records, Poston has spent 20 years in the securities industry and was most recently registered with H. Beck, Inc. (H. Beck) in Plano, Texas.  Poston is currently not licensed to act as a broker or an investment adviser.  Over his career, Poston has been the subject of at least four customer complaints, one regulatory investigation, one employment separation for cause, and one bankruptcy.

The most recent regulatory investigation was filed in December 2015 by FINRA alleging potential violations of FINRA Rules 2010, 2150, 3240, and 8210. These rules revolve around standards of commercial honor and equitable principles of trade, improper use of customers’ securities or funds, the borrowing or lending money from or to any customer without written approval.

The most recent complaint was filed in March 2016 while employed at H. Beck alleging that Poston, from October 2007, until September 2015 made unsuitable concentrated and illiquid investments in non-traded REIT’s.  The claim is currently pending.

Our firm often handles cases involving direct participation products (DPPs) and private placements including oil and gas partnerships, non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), and other alternative investments.

All of these investments come with high costs and historically have underperformed even safe benchmarks, like U.S. treasury bonds.  For example, products like oil and gas partnerships, REITs, and other alternative investments are only appropriate for a narrow band of investors under certain conditions due to the high costs, illiquidity, and huge redemption charges of the products, if they can be redeemed.  However, due to the high commissions brokers earn on these products they sell them to investors who cannot profit from them.  Further, investor often fail to understand that they have lost money until many years after agreeing to the investment.  In sum, for all of their costs and risks, investors in these programs are in no way additionally compensated for the loss of liquidity, risks, or cost.

Poston entered the securities industry in 1995.  From March 2010 until December 2015, Poston was a registered representative of H. Beck out of the firm’s Plano, Texas branch office location.

The number of customer complaints against Poston 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.

The investment lawyers at Gana LLP represent investors who have suffered investment losses due to allegations of wrongdoing. The majority of these claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.