According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) advisor Sean Kelly (Kelly), in October 2018, was accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of stealing more than $1 million from his clients.
According to the SEC, Sean Kelly used his companies, Lion’s Share Financial of East Cobb, Inc., Lion’s Share & Associates, Inc., and Lionsshare Tax Services, LLC, (Lion Share) to raise at least $1 million from 12 investors, including elderly retirees. Kelley is accused of promising that he would invest investor funds in a variety of investment products including private placements and real estate funds. However, the SEC determined that Kelly just spent the money on his own personal expenses including Super Bowl tickets, luxury vacations, and cash withdrawals. Apparently, even after he received an SEC subpoena Kelly continued to just steal money from investors. Instead, the SEC alleged that Kelly continued to dodge the agency and did not show up for his scheduled testimony after informing the SEC’s staff that he would show up and “come clean.” In a separate action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia filed criminal charges against Kelly and arrested him.
The providing of loans or selling of notes and other investments outside of a brokerage firm constitutes impermissible private securities transactions – a practice known in the industry as “selling away”.