The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged Stephen B. Blankenship, a Connecticut financial advisor, with stealing at least $600,000 from customers who he persuaded to withdraw money from their brokerage accounts he managed at other firms and instead invest with him directly.
The SEC specifically alleges that Stephen B. Blankenship lured about a dozen customers, including some that he met at church, into his scheme by assuring them they could obtain a greater rate of return on their money by transferring it to his firm, Deer Hill Financial Group.
The SEC further alleges that Blankenship claimed he was investing their money in established securities such as publicly-traded mutual funds but that in reality he made no investments and merely transferred customer money to his own bank account, misusing the funds to pay his mortgage, travel, and grocery bills among other personal expenses.
Apparently the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut is also pursuing criminal charges against Blankenship.
The White Law Group is investigating the liability that Blankenship’s FINRA registered employers may have for failure to uncover this fraudulent scheme.
According to his Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) CRD, Stephen B. Blankenship appears to have been registered with two FINRA member firms during the relevant time period – Vanderbilt Securities, LLC and Syndicated Capital, Inc.
When a FINRA affiliated broker (like Blankenship) conducts business outside of the firm with whom he is registered, the activity may be considered “selling away.” If a registered broker “sells away” from his firm, the firm may still be liable for negligent supervision of their broker representative and may be responsible for investment losses in a FINRA dispute resolution claim.
If you were victimized by Stephen B. Blankenship while he was registered with a FINRA member brokerage firm you may be able to recover your losses through a FINRA arbitration. To speak to a securities attorney about your litigation options, please call The White Law Group at 312-238-9650 for a free consultation.
The White Law Group, LLC is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, investor protection, and securities regulation/compliance law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Boca Raton, Florida.
For more information on The White Law Group, please visit our website at http://www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.