Our firm is investigating claims made by Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. (Ameriprise) when the firm terminated broker Adam Ausloos (Ausloos). According to the firm, Ausloos was discharged in July 2016 after allegation were made that Ausloos violated firm policies and was suspended and subsequently discharged for violation of company policy related to outside business activities and private placement activity.
According to Ausloos’ brokercheck records Ausloos disclosed outside business activities including Atomic Consulting LLC, real estate, and AdviseWorks Wealth Advisors 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.
Ausloos entered the securities industry in 2012. From August 2012 through May 2014 Ausloos was associated with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated. From May 2014 until July 2016, Ausloos was registered with Ameriprise out of the firm’s Brookfield, Wisconsin office location.
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.
The investment fraud attorneys at Gana LLP have represented hundreds of investors in securities related disputes including 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.