Tag Archives: Broker Theft

John Henry Swon IV

If you were an investor with John Henry Swon IV and suspect irregularities in your portfolio please call 303-300-5022.   Consultations are free and confidential.

Swon was previously a broker with Royal Alliance and Focus Financial.  In July 2021 the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) the regulator, under the oversight of the SEC, banned Swon from the securities industry.  Swon consented to the underlying allegation that he misappropriated funds from the account of an investor.

The settlement was entered into after Swon refused to produce documents in defense of his actions.  The ban prevents Swon from ever working in the securities industry in the future.

In June 2021, the employers of Swon, Royal Alliance and Focus, each terminated Swon for inappropriate outside business activity.  Brokers are required to disclose all outside business activity to their brokerage firms.  This allows the brokerage firms to supervise those outside business activities.  The violation of this requirement is often referred to as “selling away.”

The “selling away” rule is very important.  The trappings of being affiliated with a brokerage firm gives legitimacy to the investments that the broker sells.  Often brokers will use this to their advantage and sell investments that are not approved by their brokerage.  The brokers will sell fake investments or unstable investments where they are paid high commissions but no brokerage firm has investigated the financials.  Many Ponzi-type scams start with a licensed securities broker “selling away” the investment to those believing the investment had been approved by a brokerage.

 

Jimmy Booth Investment Fraud

If you were with James “Jimmy” Booth, and question whether you are a victim of investment fraud, please call 303-300-5022.  Booth has previously been a broker for LPL, Invest Financial, and Cadaret, Grant & Co.  He did business for these firms under the name “Booth Financial Associates.”

In May 2019, FINRA, the regulator overseeing securities brokers, began an investigation into the Booth matter after receiving information from Booth’s former employer, LPL, following an internal investigation. During the Relevant Period, multiple customers of Booth gave him their savings totaling at least approximately $1,000,000 to invest on their behalf.

Booth, however, deposited the funds into an account he controlled and, instead of using the funds for investment purposes, used them for his own personal use. FINRA rules provides that “[n]o member or person associated with a member shall make improper use of a customer’s securities or funds” and that “[a] member, in the conduct of its business, shall observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade. ”

FINRA barred Booth from ever serving as a securities broker as part of the settlement of the regulatory matter.

LPL has sent letters to some of the impacted investors to ask them if they authorized the withdrawals in their accounts.  For full recovery, investors should speak to an attorney.

Booth primarily worked in the Norwalk, CT area but it is believed that he had investors nationwide.

Booth has a history of customer disputes going back to 2004.

Sean Kelly Theft

If you were an investor of Sean Kelly, previously of Center Street Securities, Capital Financial Services, and Lion’s Share Financial, please call 303-300-5022.  We are currently investigating his theft of investor funds.

Kelly, a Georgia stock broker, is facing criminal and SEC charges alleging that he stole at least $1 million from a dozen clients.  These clients include elderly widows and military veterans.  Kelly stole their savings and used the money for luxuries including Super Bowl tickets and vacations.

Sean Kelly, 49, of Marietta, Ga., and a stockbroker for Center Street Securities Inc., also is accused of falsely presenting himself to clients as both a brokerage firm and an investment advisor, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Administration.

Investors have recourse when investment professionals turn bad.

Investors have recourse when investment professionals turn bad.

The financial fraud of Kelly should have been foreseen by his employers.  The record of Kelly shows a broker with significant financial problems.  He has a history of multiple tax liens, a bankruptcy, and what is described as a “continuation of a prior bankruptcy.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia has filed criminal charges against Kelly and placed him under arrest, according to the SEC.

The SEC Complaint indicates that the fraud was fairly simple.  Kelly would have his clients make checks out to Lion’s Share.  The Complaint goes on state that Kelly used Lion’s Share as “his personal piggy bank.”

There has also been a temporary restraining order entered.  Such an order freezes the assets of Kelly.

Kelly, who has been a stockbroker for about 18 years, has been stealing money from clients since at least 2014, using recruiting techniques such as offering free tax preparation services for veterans and holding free retirement planning seminars in assisted living facilities, according to the SEC.

The theft could be well-above the $1 million currently estimated.   The number is reliant upon the documents the SEC has been able to obtain from the investigation of Kelly.  There are likely many more investors who will need to bring actions on their own to obtain recovery of their losses.

Brokerage firms have a duty to investigate and monitor outside business activities such as the activities of Kelly.  Further, FINRA requires securities brokerages to carry fidelity insurance.

Kelly’s use of Lion’s Share was well known to his employers.  Insufficient safeguard’s existed to protect the investors.