Articles Tagged with Commonwealth Financial

shutterstock_1744162-300x200The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims that advisor Gerald Eaton (Eaton) was terminated by his firm and then barred from the securities industry over allegations that he engaged in wrongful taking of customer funds among other allegations.  According to BrokerCheck records, Eaton was formerly registered with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member firm Commonwealth Financial Network (CommonWealth Financial).  If you have been a victim of Eaton’s alleged misconduct our firm may be able to assist you in recovering funds.

In November 2019 FINRA barred Eaton finding that Eaton consented to the sanction and findings that he failed to provide documents and information requested by FINRA in connection with its investigation. FINRA stated that in the Form U5, Eaton’s member firm stated that the reason for the termination was that he fraudulently facilitated distributions from clients’ accounts without their knowledge or consent or for their benefit.  Commonwealth discharged Eaton in October 2019 for forgery and the wrongful taking of property.

According to Eaton’s publicly disclosed records the only outside business activities disclosed including The Heritage Financial Group and subleasing office space.  It is unclear at this time whether FINRA’s allegations concern these entities.

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shutterstock_93851422-300x240Advisor Kurt Jackson (Jackson), currently employed by Commonwealth Financial Network (Commonwealth Financial) has been subject to at least three customer complaints.  According to a BrokerCheck report some of the customer complaints concern alternative investments and direct participation products (DPPs) such as non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, annuities, and equipment leasing programs.  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have extensive experience handling investor losses caused by these types of products.

In March 2019 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Jackson violated the securities laws by alleging breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and other causes of action related to the sale of several alternative investments.  The claim alleges $500,000 in damages and is currently pending.

Our firm often handles cases involving direct participation products, Non-Traded REITs, oil and gas offerings, equipment leasing products, and other alternative investments.  These products are almost always unsuitable for investors.  In addition, the brokers who sell them are paid additional commission in order to hype inferior quality investments which provides a perverse incentives by brokers to create an artificial market for products that no honest advisor would sell.

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shutterstock_103665437The securities fraud lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating a regulatory complaint (Disciplinary No. 2013038770901) filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) against broker Ricky Moore (Moore). FINRA alleged that between March 2012 and April 2013, while he was registered with Commonwealth Financial Network (Commonwealth Financial) Moore failed to disclose to the firm his outside business activities, also referred to as “selling away”, involving the facilitation of a church bond offering for a church located in Brazoria, Texas. In addition, to the FINRA complaint Moore has been subject to three customer complaints.

FINRA alleged in the complaint that Moore failed to disclose to his member firm his outside business activities involving the facilitation of a church bond offering for a church. The complaint alleges that Moore acted as the president and director of the church and facilitated the church bond offering for the church. In addition, FINRA found that Moore made a false and misleading statement on his firm’s annual compliance questionnaire when asked whether he had participated in raising capital, equity, or debt for a public or private investment. Moore answered “No” and also falsely stated that he had no undisclosed outside business activities. Thereafter, Commonwealth Financial conducted an investigation and Moore was permitted to resign after the firm terminated Moore’s registration.

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 when these incidents occur the brokerage firm claims ignorance of their advisor’s activities the firm is obligated under the FINRA rules 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 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.

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