The investment fraud lawyers of Gana Weinstein 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.
Kuhlow entered the securities industry in 1989. From January 2005 until March 2016, Kuhlow was registered with LPL.
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 when these incidents occur the brokerage firm claims ignorance of their advisor’s activities the firm is obligated under the FINRA rules 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 misconduct often occurs where brokerage firms 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 Weinstein 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.