The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims that advisor George Schmidt (Schmidt) has converted customer funds among other allegations. According to BrokerCheck records, Schmidt is formerly registered with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member firm Lincoln Financial Advisors Corporation (Lincoln Financial) out of the firm’s Melville, New York office location. In addition, Schmidt disclosed four customer complaint, one employment terminations for cause, and one regulatory action. If you have been a victim of Schmidt’s alleged misconduct our firm may be able to assist you in recovering funds.
According to FINRA, Schmidt refused provide documents and information to FINRA in connection with an investigation into allegations made by his firm upon his termation.
In November 2019 Lincoln Financial terminated Schmidt stating that he was discharged while under allegations of misappropriation related to undisclosed outside business activity serving as trustee for a non-family member.
Schmidt’s disclosed outside business activities include Schmidt Associates.
Our law firm has significant experience bringing cases on behalf of defrauded victims when their advisors engage in conversion of funds 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.
Schmidt entered the securities industry in 1983. From July 2012 until November 2019 Schmidt was registered with Lincoln Financial out of the firm’s Melville, New York 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.