The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims that advisor Scott Reed (Reed) has been accused by clients of engaging in fraudulent investment activities including undisclosed outside business activities (OBAs) and private securities transactions. According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Reed was employed by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC (Wells Fargo) at the time of the activity. If you have been a victim of Reed’s alleged misconduct our firm may be able to assist you in recovering funds.
Reed has been subject to regulatory action by both FINRA and the State of Arizona. With respect to the FINRA action, the regulator found that Reed consented to sanctions and findings that he participated in private securities transactions totaling at least $3.5 million without providing prior written notice to or obtaining advanced approval from his member firm. Reed solicited individuals, including at least two firm customers, to invest in securities issued by a software and web development company believed to be Pebblekick, Inc. Reed participated in these investments away from the firm by providing written materials about the company to investors, and by communicating with them orally, by email and text message about the company and encouraging them to invest. Reed is alleged to have received selling compensation of $191,340 from the company for his role in soliciting and facilitating the investments. It was also claimed that Reed had his own personal financial interest in the company and personally invested over $200,000 in the company.
Our law firm has significant experience bringing cases on behalf of defrauded victims when their advisors engage in receiving loans from clients or selling securities sales through OBAs. 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.
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.
Reed entered the securities industry in 1999. From April 2016 through April 2020 Reed was registered with Wells Fargo. From April 2020 until December 2020 Reed was associated with First Financial Equity Corporation out of the firm’s Scottsdale, Arizona branch 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.