Investment fraud lawyers are currently investigating claims on behalf of individuals who invested with Lewis J. Hunter, a former broker in Michigan. A cease-and-desist and administrative proceedings order was recently instituted by the Securities and Exchange Commission against Hunter, who allegedly misappropriated money from his brokerage customers and, in turn, used the funds to pay personal expenses. The amount of money allegedly misappropriated is estimated to be around $300,000.
The SEC’s Division of Enforcement’s allegations of misappropriation of funds state that Hunter promised guaranteed returns in both domestic and foreign bank investments while registered with HD Vest Investment Securities Inc. Further, the SEC’s claims allege that Hunter paid personal and business expenses with the funds and made false and misleading representations to conceal his actions from his clients. Reportedly, these misrepresentations included fabricating bank documents.
Based on the SEC’s allegations, securities arbitration lawyers believe that Hunter was a registered representative for HD Vest Investment Securities Inc. from November 15, 2006 through October 19, 2011. HD Vest Investment Securities is headquartered in Texas and is a registered broker-dealer. While registered there, Hunter reportedly became a partner in National Business Concepts LLC, purportedly in bookkeeping, accounting, business consulting, management and tax preparation.
Allegedly, Hunter recommended to two long-time elderly clients a Canadian bank investment in September 2010. One of the clients was told, by Hunter, that HD Vest’s trading platform did not offer the investment and, therefore, it was necessary for the investment to be held and funded outside the client’s HD Vest brokerage account.
A hearing to be held before an administrative law judge will be scheduled in order to determine whether the order’s allegations are true. Hunter will have an opportunity to respond the allegations against him, and any necessary sanctions will be ordered at that time.
“Selling away” occurs when a broker who is affiliated with FINRA conducts business outside his registered firm, according to investment fraud lawyers. If the firm does not have adequate supervisory procedures in place, the firm may be held liable for the broker’s actions when “selling away.” Therefore, if it can be proven that HD Vest failed to adequately supervise Hunter, the firm could be held liable for his actions and other victims of his fraud could recover losses through securities arbitration.
If you suffered significant losses as a result of your investment with Lewis J. Hunter, you may have a valid securities arbitration claim. To find out more about your legal rights and options, contact a securities arbitration lawyer at The Law Office of Christopher J. Gray at (866) 966-9598 for a no-cost, confidential consultation.