The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating multiple claims that advisor Robert High (High) has engaged in a misappropriation scheme. High, formerly registered with First Financial Equity Corporation (First Financial) and operating out of Scottsdale, Arizona, has been accused by a customer of engaging in securities fraud and misappropriating funds.
In February 2019 the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) opened an investigation into High for alleged misappropriation of funds and forgery. Shortly thereafter First Financial terminated High claiming that he was in violation of firm’s policies. In March 2019 a client filed a complaint alleging that High misappropriated funds causing $146,000 in funds. The claim is currently pending.
Also in March 2019, FINRA suspended High for failing to respond to the regulator’s requests for documents and information. If High continues to fail to respond he will be barred from the securities industry.
Our law firm has significant experience bringing cases on behalf of defrauded victims when their advisors engage in misappropriation schemes. High’s activities in 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.
High entered the securities industry in 2002. From April 2012 until February 2019 High was registered with First Financial out of the firm’s Scottsdale, Arizona 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.