The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims that advisor Antonio Puente (Puente) has been accused by a securities regulator of potentially engaging in the sales of private securities among other allegations. Puente was barred by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) concerning his private securities sales conduct. According to BrokerCheck records, Puente was formerly registered with FINRA member firm Valic Financial Advisors, Inc. (Valic Financial). If you have been a victim of Puente’s alleged misconduct our firm may be able to assist you in recovering funds.
In August 2018 Valic Financial terminated Puente alleging that he was terminated following conclusion of investigation into undisclosed outside business activity. Then in January 2020 FINRA found that Puente consented to sanctions and findings that he refused to provide testimony requested by FINRA in connection with its investigation into whether he potentially violated FINRA rules by engaging in undisclosed outside business activities and/or private securities transactions.
According to Puente’s publicly disclosed records the he has no disclosed outside business activities.
Our law firm has significant experience bringing cases on behalf of defrauded victims when their advisors engage in receiving loans from clients or selling securities sales through OBAs. The sale of unapproved investment products – is 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. Sometimes those investments have some legitimacy but often times these types of investments can end up being Ponzi schemes or the advisor can be engaging in the conversion 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. 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.
Puente entered the securities industry in 1996. From 1999 through September 2018 Puente was registered with Valic Financial out of the firm’s Miami, Florida office location.
Investors who have suffered losses are encouraged to contact us at (800) 810-4262 for consultation. Investors 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.