The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims that advisor Gerald Eaton (Eaton) was terminated by his firm and then barred from the securities industry over allegations that he engaged in wrongful taking of customer funds among other allegations. According to BrokerCheck records, Eaton was formerly registered with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member firm Commonwealth Financial Network (CommonWealth Financial). If you have been a victim of Eaton’s alleged misconduct our firm may be able to assist you in recovering funds.
In November 2019 FINRA barred Eaton finding that Eaton consented to the sanction and findings that he failed to provide documents and information requested by FINRA in connection with its investigation. FINRA stated that in the Form U5, Eaton’s member firm stated that the reason for the termination was that he fraudulently facilitated distributions from clients’ accounts without their knowledge or consent or for their benefit. Commonwealth discharged Eaton in October 2019 for forgery and the wrongful taking of property.
According to Eaton’s publicly disclosed records the only outside business activities disclosed including The Heritage Financial Group and subleasing office space. It is unclear at this time whether FINRA’s allegations concern 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 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.
Eaton entered the securities industry in 1992. From March 1995 until November 2019 Eaton was associated with CommonWealth Financial out of the firm’s Acton, Massachusetts 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.