According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) advisor Paul Smith (Smith), in June 2017, was barred by FINRA for failing to provide documents and information concerning private securities transactions.
Prior to the FINRA bar Smith was terminated by his firm Bolton Global Capital (Bolton Global) over claims by the firm that the firm was notified by the SEC that smith engaged in private securities transactions. In addition to the termination Smith has been subject to ten customer complaints.
According to the customer complaints, Smith’s clients were solicited to invest in the Haverford Group which turned out to be a fraudulent investment offering. It appears that Smith recommended the Haverford investments since at least 2011 through 2017. At this time the extent and scope of the fraud is unknown.
FINRA requires brokers to disclose their outside businesses because the risk to investors is that the broker will use such businesses to engage in unauthorized securities activities. The providing of loans or selling of notes and other investments outside of a brokerage firm constitutes impermissible private securities transactions – a practice known in the industry as “selling away”.
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. However, even though when these incidents occur the brokerage firm claims ignorance of their advisor’s activities the firm is obligated under the FINRA rules to properly 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.
Wyman entered the securities industry in 1982. From May 2007 until February 2017 Smith was associated with Bolton Global out of the firm’s Wayne, Pennsylvannia office location.
Investors who have suffered losses 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.