According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) former advisor Mitchell Kurtz (Kurtz), formerly associated with Henley & Company LLC (Henley & Company) in Roslyn Heights, New York was terminated by the firm. In July 2017 Kurtz was discharged after the firm claimed that based discussions with Kurtz and the SEC Auditors that it is necessary to terminate Kurtz’s registrations with Henley & Company due to violations of both FINRA and SEC rules and firm policies and procedures regarding outside business activities (OBAs), selling away, fiduciary duty obligations, violation of professional standards and the firm’s Code of Ethics.
In addition in August 2012 FINRA brought a regulatory action against Kurtz for altering certain account records. In December 2009 Kurtz was terminated by his prior employer Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. (Raymond James) for altering documents.
At this time it is unclear the nature or scope of the alleged OBAs and private securities transactions that Kurtz may have been involved in.
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.
Kurtz entered the securities industry in 1994. From January 2010 until July 2018 Kurtz was associated with Henley & Company out of the firm’s Roslyn Heights, 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.