The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) barred former LPL Financial LLC (LPL) broker Thomas Caniford (Caniford) after the broker failed to respond to a letter from the regulator requesting information. While BrokerCheck records kept by FINRA do not disclose the nature of the regulatory inquiry, in February 2015, Caniford was terminated by LPL for cause stating that the broker was terminated for 1) having custody and control of client funds in a bank account in violation of firm policy; and 2) failure to provide bank records requested by the firm.
In addition, Caniford has been the subject of at least two customer complaints and four financial liens all tax related. The customer complaints against Caniford allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made investments in products not approved by LPL, also referred to as “selling away”, and direct theft and misappropriation of funds.
Caniford entered the securities industry in 1982. From March 2004, until March 2008, Caniford was associated with M Holdings Securities, Inc. Thereafter, from March 2008, until his termination in March 2015, Caniford was associated with LPL.
Under the FINRA rules, a brokerage firm owes a duty 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 often occurs in brokerage firm that 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.
The number of complaints and regulatory actions against Caniford is relatively large by industry standards. According to InvestmentNews, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records. Brokers must disclose different types of events, not necessarily all of which are customer complaints. These disclosures can include IRS tax liens, judgments, and even criminal matters.
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 who have lost money in selling away investments. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.