According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) advisor Hector May (May), formerly associated with Securities America, Inc. (Securities America) in New York, New York is under criminal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for investment fraud. At the same time, May was terminated by Securities America on concerns that the advisor misappropriated client assets.
Investors who have come forward concerning May’s fraud claim that he sold what now appear to be fake tax-free corporate bonds. It is doubtful that these investments ever existed. Instead, the allegations claim that May most likely pocketed client funds and paid other clients funds with the proceeds from other investors – a classic Ponzi-scheme. As with all Ponzi schemes this one collapsed when May could not make promised payments.
It appears that May conducted his alleged scheme through a disclosed outside business activity called Executive Compensation Planners, Inc. May may have used this company to handle client investments and distribute fake returns to investors. Outside business activities such as Executive Compensation Planners should have caused concern at May’s brokerage firm because these separate corporate entities are frequently used by unscrupulous advisors to conceal and commit frauds. According to news sources, Executive Compensation Planners’ website in 2016 stated the firm was registered to sell securities and insurance but has since been taken down. Further, May disclosed to clients in a brochure from Executive Compensation Planners that the firm handled more than $18 million in assets.
The allegations against May conform to a practice known in the industry as “selling away” – a serious violation of the securities laws. 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. When advisors convert or misappropriate funds they often created businesses or other vehicles to serve as a cover for the theft of funds. However, federal securities laws and the FINRA rules require firms to monitor and supervise its employees in order to detect and prevent brokers from offering investments in this fashion.
The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are experienced in recovering funds from defrauded investors in these types of frauds. Our attorneys have handled numerous mass advisor frauds including:
- Representing 20 clients of Paul Godlewski’s Ponzi scheme
- Representing more than 20 clients referred to Edward Durante’s pump and dump VGTel penny stock fraud.
- Representing more than 20 clients in Patrick Churchville’s ClearPath Equity fraud
- Representing more than 15 clients in Dean Mustaphalli’s investment fraud
- Representing more than 10 clients in Robert Van Zandt’s real estate fraud
Investors who have suffered losses are encouraged to contact us at (800) 810-4262 for consultation. The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are experienced in representing investors in cases of investment fraud and brokerage firms failure to supervise their representatives. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.