Articles Tagged with Fortune Financial Services

shutterstock_78659098-300x225According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) advisor Jonathan Freeze (Freeze), in August 2017, was accused by FINRA of failing to cooperate in an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Freeze’s alleged sale of variable annuities.  Freeze is formerly associated with Fortune Financial Services, Inc. (Fortune Financial).  According to the FINRA action, Freeze was barred by the regulator after the broker failed to respond to requests for documents and information during the investigation.

In 2015, Feeze was also sanctioned by FINRA concerning allegations that he borrowed $20,000 from his customer and failed to provide the firm with prior notice of the loan and failed to obtain prior written pre-approval for the loan.  Freeze has also been subject to two terminations for cause and multiple financial disclosures.

Variable annuities are complex financial and insurance products.  In fact, recently the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a publication entitled: Variable Annuities: What You Should Know encouraging investors to ask questions about the variable annuity before investing.  Essentially, a variable annuity is a contract with an insurance company under which the insurer agrees to make periodic payments to you.  The investor chooses the investments made in the annuity and value of your variable annuity will vary depending on the performance of the investment options chosen.  The primary benefits of variable annuities are the death benefit and tax deferment of investment gains.

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shutterstock_182357462According to news reports, broker George Montgomery (Montgomery) committed suicide but questions surrounding the death left many believing that foul play was involved. Montgomery, a former ASU running back, before injuries took him off the field.

Montgomery became a registered broker in 1998. From 2005 until October 2011, Montgomery was associated with United Planners’ Financial Services of America (United Planners). Thereafter, from January 2012 until July 2013, Montgomery was associated Fortune Financial Services, Inc. (Fortune Financial).

Montgomery was found July 31, 2014, submerged in Wet Beaver Creek by two hikers with a handgun next to the dead man. When police inspected the scene, investigators found that there were four gunshot wounds and two had penetrated the Montgomery’s chest while there were also a hand wound and one leg also wound.

Montgomery had missed a court examination that morning concerning an investigation by the Attorney General for Montgomery’s involvement in the Twin Peaks Ponzi scheme. Investors had lost almost $3 million investing in the mining scam located at the Yavapai County ghost town Stanton.

According to Montgomery’s BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the broker has three customer complaints, two of which involve allegations Montgomery solicited an unregistered investment away from the firm and made misrepresentations.

Montgomery’s outside business activities are referred to as “selling away” in the industry. 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 the brokerage firm claim ignorance of their advisor’s activities, under the FINRA rules, a brokerage firm owes a duty 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 often occurs in brokerage firm that 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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