According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) former advisor Clifton Roberts (Roberts), formerly associated with LPL Financial LLC (LPL Financial) in Houston, Texas was terminated for cause by LPL Financial in April 2018 after the firm made allegations that Roberts violated of firm policy regarding outside business activities (OBAs).
At this time it is unclear the nature or scope of the alleged OBAs that Roberts was involved in. According to Roberts’ public diclsoures the broker was part of number of OBAs including IDLife, Ursus Wealth Management – a d/b/a entity for his LPL Financial business, Ursus and Company – a real estate management and construction company which Roberts claims is not investment related. In addition, an unnamed business for insurance is listed. It is unknown whether LPL’s claims relate to any of these entities.
Often accompanied with undisclosed OBAs is the risk of the sale of unapproved investment products – 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 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. 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.
Roberts entered the securities industry in 2000. From September 2012 until July 2014 Roberts was associated with Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. From June 2014 until May 2018 Roberts had been associated with LPL Financial out of the firm’s Houston, Texas 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.