Woodbury Financial Advisor James Kennedy Barred From Industry Over Unapproved Business Activity

shutterstock_73854277-300x200The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently investigating claims that advisor James Kennedy (Kennedy) has been accused by a financial regulator of engaging in unapproved business activities among other allegations.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Kennedy was employed by his prior employer Woodbury Financial Services, Inc. (Woodbury Financial) prior to being investigated concerning his activities.  If you have been a victim of Kennedy’s alleged misconduct our firm may be able to assist you in recovering funds.

In April 2020, FINRA brought a regulatory action and fount that Kennedy consented to sanctions and findings that he failed to provide documents and information requested by FINRA in connection with its investigation into a tip received. FINRA found that Kennedy provided partial but incomplete responses to FINRA’s requests and then subsequently ceased cooperating with the investigation.  FINRA also determined that Kennedy’s former firm filed a Form U5 disclosing his termination and explaining that he was permitted to resign for engaging in an unapproved outside business activity involving a financial transaction with a couple of clients.

Kennedy’s disclosed outside business disclosures include being an insurance agent, Kennedy Investment Consultants LLC, and Hoy Road Properties.  It is unclear whether or not the allegations involve any of these disclosed 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 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.

However, federal securities laws and the FINRA rules require firms to 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.

In cases of selling away the investor is unaware that the advisor’s investments are improper.  In many of these cases the investor will not learn that the broker’s activities were wrongful until after the investment scheme is publicized, the broker is fired or charged by law enforcement, or stops returning client calls altogether.

Kennedy entered the securities industry in 1986.  From January 2007 until March 2020 Kennedy was associated with Woodbury Financial out of the firm’s Madison, Mississippi office location.

Investors who have suffered losses are encouraged to contact us at (800) 810-4262 for consultation. Investors may be able recover their losses through securities arbitration.  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are experienced in representing investors in cases of selling away and brokerage firms failure to supervise their representatives.  Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.

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