The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims that advisor Lester Burroughs (Burroughs) is converted customer funds among other allegations. According to BrokerCheck records, Burroughs is formerly registered with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member firm Lincoln Investment. In addition, Burroughs disclosed 17 customer complaints. If you have been a victim of Burroughs’ alleged misconduct our firm may be able to assist you in recovering funds.
According to news sources, Burroughs is facing up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to misappropriating $575,000 in client assets. Burroughs waived his right to be indicted and entered the plea in U.S. District Court of Connecticut as part of a deal in which he agreed to pay the full $575,000 in restitution to the victims of his crimes. It was alleged that Burroughs defrauded three clients in a Ponzi scheme from about 2012 to 2019. In addition, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced separate civil charges against Burroughs stating that he misappropriated $560,000 after telling clients he would invest their money in guaranteed interest contracts with guaranteed returns of 4% or 7%. However, the SEC found that Burroughs instead used the money to pay his own expenses and the return funds to other clients.
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.