According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) former advisor John Buck (Buck), formerly associated with Morgan Stanley in Boston, Massachusetts has been accused by his former firm and barred by FINRA over unapproved securities.
In January 2018 Morgan Stanley terminated Buck stating that there were allegations about the timing and completeness of disclosures to the firm regarding involvement in private investments outside of the firm.
Thereafter, in October 2018 Buck was terminated by FINRA and consented to the sanction that he failed to provide FINRA with requested documents and information in connection with its investigation concerning his potential involvement in certain unapproved private securities transactions.
At this time it is unclear the nature or scope of the alleged outside business activities (OBAs) and private securities transactions. Buck’s public disclosures only state that he is an investor in Gemini Partners – a venture fund.
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.
Buck entered the securities industry in 1965. From May 2010 until February 2018 Buck was registered with Morgan Stanley out of the firm’s Boston, Massachusetts 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.