Our firm is investigating claims made by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) when the regulator barred broker Tye Williams (Williams). According to FINRA settlement, Williams consented to sanctions that he failed to produce documents and information to FINRA. In addition, FINRA stated that the documents and information requested related to an investigation regarding a customer complaint alleging that Williams converted over $1,000,000 from customers’ accounts, made unsuitable investment recommendations, and engaged in unauthorized transactions and mismanaged assets.
The complaint made in April 2016 alleged that from mid 2004 until 2015, Williams mismanaged their finances by exceeding the scope of his authority and recommended unsuitable investments in ventures like Smashburger. The complaint alleges damages of $1,000,000. The claim is currently pending.
According to Williams’ brokercheck records Williams has at least six disclosed outside business activities. These activities include DC Rightside, LLC which is involved with Smashburger franchise. Also disclosed is Tye Williams Financial Services, Inc., Gold Star Equestrian, LLC, One Source Advisors Group, LLC, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes dfw. 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.
Williams entered the securities industry in 1986. From November 2008 through August 2016 Williams was associated with Next Financial Group, Inc. out of the firm’s Frisco, Texas 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.