According to news reports, broker George Montgomery (Montgomery) committed suicide but questions surrounding the death left many believing that foul play was involved. Montgomery, a former ASU running back, before injuries took him off the field.
Montgomery became a registered broker in 1998. From 2005 until October 2011, Montgomery was associated with United Planners’ Financial Services of America (United Planners). Thereafter, from January 2012 until July 2013, Montgomery was associated Fortune Financial Services, Inc. (Fortune Financial).
Montgomery was found July 31, 2014, submerged in Wet Beaver Creek by two hikers with a handgun next to the dead man. When police inspected the scene, investigators found that there were four gunshot wounds and two had penetrated the Montgomery’s chest while there were also a hand wound and one leg also wound.
Montgomery had missed a court examination that morning concerning an investigation by the Attorney General for Montgomery’s involvement in the Twin Peaks Ponzi scheme. Investors had lost almost $3 million investing in the mining scam located at the Yavapai County ghost town Stanton.
According to Montgomery’s BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the broker has three customer complaints, two of which involve allegations Montgomery solicited an unregistered investment away from the firm and made misrepresentations.
Montgomery’s outside business activities are referred to as “selling away” in the industry. 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 the brokerage firm claim ignorance of their advisor’s activities, 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.
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.
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.