According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Dawn Bennett (Bennett) has been the subject of at least six customer complaints over the course of her career. Customers have filed complaints against Bennett alleging securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, misrepresentations, and excessive trading among other claims. In addition to customer complaints, The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a press release announcing fraud charges against Bennett, a Maryland-based financial services firm and founder/CEO, accusing her of grossly inflating the amount of managed assets and exaggerating the investment returns actually obtained for customers.
Bennett entered the securities industry in 1987. From 2006, until October 2009, Bennett was associated with Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. Thereafter, from October 2009, till present Bennett is associated with Western International Securities, Inc.
The SEC’s allegations relate to Bennett’s attempts to inflate the firm’s profile and prestige by overhyping assets under management and customer returns. The SEC alleged that Bennett frequently touted to customers and on her paid radio program that highly profitable investment returns generated by Bennett Group Financial Services placed the firm in the top 1 percent of firms worldwide. However, the SEC charged that Bennett failed to disclose that the returns were calculated for a model portfolio and not based on actual investor performance. The SEC further alleged that Bennett and her firm claimed to be managing more than $2 billion in assets when in reality Bennett managed no more than one-fifth of that amount.