According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) former advisor Jon Pariser (Pariser), formerly associated with Independent Financial Group, LLC (Independent Financial) in Pacific Grove, California was sanctioned by FINRA resulting in a bar from the industry. In October 2018 Pariser consented to the FINRA sanction and an entry of findings that he failed to provide FINRA with requested documents and information related to allegations that he referred some of his customers to an individual who was not registered and who may have recommended or sold potentially unsuitable securities to them.
It is believed that Pariser recommended that his clients invest with Christopher Parris, an unlicensed broker. At that time Parris has been accused by the SEC of running an investment fraud scheme through First Nationle Solution. According to an Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) complaint filed in June 2018, Parris and others orchestrated the First Nationle Solution Ponzi scheme and bilked investors out of over $102 million. Parris and others have been accused of using brokers like Pariser to liquidate safe or non-fraudulent investments in order to obtain financing of their scheme.
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.
Pariser entered the securities industry in 1996. From April 2000 until December 2013 Pariser was associated with LPL Financial LLC. From December 2013 until July 2014 Pariser was registered with SWS Financial. Finally, from July 2014 until May 2018 Pariser was registered with Independent Financial out of the firm’s Pacific Grove, California 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.