The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims that advisor Robert Montes (Montes) engaged in undisclosed outside business activities (OBAs) and investment sales that were not approved by his brokerage firm. Montes, formerly registered with Morgan Stanley was subject to a regulatory investigation according to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). In addition, Montes disclosed three customer complaints.
In July 2019, FINRA alleged that Montes accepted a bar from the financial industry, without admitting or denying the findings, that he refused to provide documents and information requested by FINRA in connection with an investigation into whether he potentially misused an elderly customer’s assets.
At this time it is unclear what the activity was that was the focus of FINRA’s investigation or the scope of Montes’ activities. Montes’ publicly available BrokerCheck information discloses several OBAs including a real estate venture and a company called R.J.R. Asset Management, LLC. It is unknown whether the activity investigated by FINRA involves any of these entities.
Our law firm has significant experience bringing cases on behalf of defrauded victims when their advisors engage in receiving loans from clients or selling fraudulent 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.