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Hector May, Formerly of Securities America, Subject of Department of Justice Investigation on Suspicion of Misappropriation of Client Assets

money whirlpoolAs recently reported, former financial advisor Hector Anthony May (CRD# 323779) was recently discharged from employment by Securities America, Inc. (“Securities America”) (CRD# 10205) on or about March 9, 2018.  Mr. May’s termination by Securities America, which is Ladenburg Thalman’s largest subsidiary and the tenth largest independent broker-dealer in the nation, occurred the day after the U.S. Department of Justice disclosed an investigation into a suspected felony concerning Mr. May’s business activities as a New City, New York financial advisor.  Specifically, allegations have been raised suggesting that Mr. May bilked his clients out of millions of dollars through the use of phony account statements and purported offers to invest in “tax-free corporate bonds.”

Hector May, 77 years of age, is a well-known figure in Rockland County, New York, having been politically active and engaged in the local business community for the past several decades.  Following the 2009 arrest of a Peral River hedge-fund operator charged with running a $150 million Ponzi scheme, Mr. May issued the following warning to investors: “I have a lot of empathy for the people who got hurt, but before you invest a million dollars, do your due diligence.  Otherwise, it’s like going to get a heart operation and you don’t even know if he’s a doctor.”

According to publicly available information through FINRA BrokerCheck, Mr. May was a long-time financial advisor, having first entered the securities industry in 1973.  Most recently, Mr. May worked as an independent advisor on behalf of Securities America, from 1994 until his March 2018 termination.  Mr. May’s financial planning business was conducted through his own Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm called Executive Compensation Planners, Inc. (“ECPI”).  Upon information and belief, Mr. May’s ECPI clientele included investors in the following states: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.  Mr. May’s firm, ECPI, was formed as a New York corporation on December 27, 1982.

Most recently, on June 6, 2018, the Justice Department reportedly froze assets held by ECPI pursuant to a Restraining Order.  Specifically, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York implemented an asset freeze against Mr. May and his wife, Sonia May, with their consent.  In addition to freezing ECPI assets, the government reportedly has also restrained numerous bank and brokerage accounts owned by the Mays, as well as monthly proceeds payable to Hector May through an Equitable Life Pension payment and social security.  Finally, the government reportedly has frozen the Mays’ real assets, including an Orangeburg, NY primary residence, as well as a condominium in Vernon Township, NJ.

Brokerage firms like Securities America have a duty to ensure that their registered representatives and investment advisors are adequately supervised, a duty which includes monitoring their advisors to ensure that no misconduct or fraudulent activity is permitted.  Unfortunately, in some instances, independent advisors who work remotely under the supervision of firms like Securities America are able to engage in a pattern and practice of misconduct.  Nevertheless, firms like Securities America must take reasonable steps to ensure that their advisors follow all applicable securities rules and regulations, in addition to internal policies and procedures.  In those instances where firms fail to adequately supervise their financial advisors, they may be held liable for losses sustained by investors.

Attorneys at Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C. have successfully resolved a number of disputes on behalf of investors, including losses sustained due to inadequate supervision, fraud and Ponzi schemes.  Investors may contact a securities arbitration attorney by telephone at (866) 966-9598, or by e-mail at newcases@investorlawyers.net for a no-cost, confidential consultation.

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