Broker Investigation: Ausdal Financial Broker Randy Birkinbine

shutterstock_139932985According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Randy Birkinbine (Birkinbine) has been the subject of at least 2 customer complaints, 4 judgements or liens, and 1 employment separation for cause. Customers have filed complaints against Birkinbine alleging securities law violations including claims of unsuitable investments among other claims.   In addition, Birkinbine has six tax liens. The most recent tax lien dated December 23, 2013, is for $43,725. Previous tax liens in 2009, 2010, and May 2013 are for $51,670, $85,246, and $131,595 respectively. Judgements are often a sign that the broker cannot manage their own personal finances and may be tempted to recommend high commission products or strategies to clients in order to satisfy debts. Birkinbine was also terminated by Invest Financial Corporation (Invest) for cause stating that the firm alleged that Birkinbine violated firm policy by having multiple new account documents incomplete.

Birkinbine entered the securities industry in 1990. From June 2007, until June 2011, Birkinbine was registered with Workman Securities Corporation. From June 2011 onward Birkinbine has been associated with Ausdal Financial Partners, Inc. out of the firm’s Woodbury, Minnesota office location.

All advisers have a fundamental responsibility to deal fairly with investors including making suitable investment recommendations. In order to make suitable recommendations the broker must have a reasonable basis for recommending the product or security based upon the broker’s investigation of the investments properties including its benefits, risks, tax consequences, and other relevant factors. In addition, the broker must also understand the customer’s specific investment objectives to determine whether or not the specific product or security being recommended is appropriate for the customer based upon their needs.

The number of customer complaints against Birkinbine is high relative to his peers. According to InvestmentNews, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records. Brokers must publicly disclose certain types of reportable events on their CRD including but not limited to customer complaints. In addition to disclosing client disputes brokers must divulge IRS tax liens, judgments, and criminal matters. However, FINRA’s records are not always complete according to a Wall Street Journal story that checked with 26 state regulators and found that at least 38,400 brokers had regulatory or financial red flags such as a personal bankruptcy that showed up in state records but not on BrokerCheck. More disturbing is the fact that 19,000 out of those 38,400 brokers had spotless BrokerCheck records.

Gana Weinstein LLP represents investors who have suffered investment losses due to broker wrongdoing, such as unsuitable investments. The majority of these claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.

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