The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims that advisor Bobby Coburn (Coburn) engaged in undisclosed outside business activities (OBAs) and private securities transactions that were not approved by the brokerage firm. Coburn, formerly registered with Securities America, Inc. (Securities America) was subject to a regulatory investigation and barred form the industry according to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). In addition, Coburn disclosed one employment termaintion for cause and two customer complaints.
In August 2019, FINRA alleged that Coburn accepted a bar from the financial industry, after consenting to sanctions and to the entry of findings that he refused to provide FINRA with requested information and documents. FINRA stated that Coburn’s member firm had terminated his association and stated on his Form U5 that he was involved in the solicitation of multiple clients to invest in an unapproved private securities transaction and engaged in the settlement of a related customer’s complaint without the firm’s knowledge or consent.
In March 2019 Securities America discharged Coburn and accused him of misconduct.
At this time it is unclear what the activity was that was the focus of FINRA’s investigation or the scope of Coburn’s activities. Coburn’s publicly available BrokerCheck information discloses one OBA called Born to Retire which appears to be an insurance sales business. It is unknown whether the activity investigated by FINRA involves any of these entities.
Our law firm has significant experience bringing cases on behalf of defrauded victims when their advisors engage in receiving loans from clients or selling fraudulent 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.
When advisors convert or misappropriate funds they often create 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. 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.
Coburn entered the securities industry in 1988. From January 2009 through April 2019 Coburn was associated with Securities America out of the firm’s Fort Meade, 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.