According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) former advisor Dexter Thomas (Thomas), formerly associated with United Planners Financial Services of America LP (United Planners) in Dallas, Texas has been accused by his former firm over unapproved securities and making client loans. In addition, Thomas has 19 customer complaints on his record – most of which relate to the unapproved activities.
In August 2018 United Planners terminated Thomas stating that he affiliated with the firm in late-2017. A short period of time later, the Thomas passed away. The firm claimed that immediately before his death, Thomas disclosed that he was involved with a number of private loans or private investments with individuals which private loans or investments were neither disclosed to, nor approved by, the firm. After Thomas’ death customers have claimed that Thomas did not return all of the funds privately loaned to or invested.
At this time it is unclear the nature or scope of the alleged outside business activities (OBAs) and private securities transactions. Thomas’ public disclosures state that his securities activity was conducted through a d/b/a – Dexter Thomas Financial Services, LLC.
Often accompanied with either disclosed or 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.
Thomas entered the securities industry in 1983. From November 2006 until November 2017 Thomas was registered with National Planning Corporation. From November 2017 until August 2018 Thomas was registered with United Planners out of the firm’s Dallas, 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.