Zamansky & Associates LLC announces that it is investigating LPL Financial LLC (“LPL”), the large independent brokerage firm, over an alleged $2 million theft by one of its former financial advisors.
Zamansky & Associates LLC announces that it is investigating LPL Financial LLC (“LPL”), the large independent brokerage firm, over an alleged $2 million theft by one of its financial advisors.
On May 23, 2013 Reuters reported that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed civil charges against a former LPL financial advisor, Blake Richards of Burford, Georgia. The SEC’s complaint alleges that Richards diverted $2 million of client funds from six clients for own personal expenses, after promising to invest their funds in investment vehicles he ran outside of LPL. However, the outside investment vehicles were fictitious, according to the SEC’s complaint. This case is SEC v. Richards, District Court of Georgia, Northern District, No. 13-CV-1729.
Zamansky & Associates LLC is investigating the conduct of Mr. Richards, and LPL’s supervision of him. According to Jake Zamansky, “any brokerage customers of LPL or Blake Richards who notice discrepancies in their accounts or account balances should immediately have their accounts reviewed by a professional.” Additionally, Zamansky states that “financial advisors are not supposed to recommend outside investments, so that any such recommendation should be a red flag to an investor.”
On February 6, 2013, Reuters reported that LPL paid a $2.5 million fine to settle charges by Massachusetts’ Securities Regulators for failing to supervise sales of nonpublic real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) to its customers in that state. LPL’s lack of supervision related to the suitability of REITS for its investors, Reuters reported. “Any investor who purchased a REIT through LPL should have the investment reviewed for suitability,” according to Zamansky.
What Investors Can Do
If you a brokerage customer of LPL who has noticed any discrepancy in your account balances, or who invested in a REIT, you may email jake(at)zamansky(dot)com or call the law firm at (212) 742-1414.