The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims that advisor Timothy Johnson (Johnson) was discharged by his employer after being accused of diverting client funds. According to BrokerCheck records, Johnson is formerly registered with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member firm MML Investors Services, LLC (MML). In addition, Johnson disclosed one regulatory complaint. If you have been a victim of Johnson’s alleged misconduct our firm may be able to assist you in recovering funds.
In July 2019 MML discharged Johnson after alleging that he was terminated in connection with an investigation into the registered representative’s diversion of customer funds for his own use.
In September 2019 FINRA filed a regulatory action alleging that Johnson consented to the sanction and findings that he failed to provide documents and information requested by FINRA during the course of an investigation into the allegations made concerning his termination. FINRA’s suspension will automatically become a bar if Johnson fails to respond.
Our law firm has significant experience bringing cases on behalf of defrauded victims when their advisors engage in receiving loans from clients or selling fraudulent 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.
When advisors convert or misappropriate funds they often create 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.
Johnson entered the securities industry in 2009. From November 2011 until May 2015 Johnson was associated with PNC Investments. From May 2015 until November 2017 Johnson was registered with SunTrust Investment Services, Inc. Finally, from February 2018 until July 2019 Johnson was registered with MML out of the firm’s Lawrenceville, Georgia 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.