According to the FBI, Brian Anthony Bjork pled guilty to wire fraud and was sentenced to 52 months in prison. During the plea hearing, Bjork apparently admitted to a complex scheme of fraudulent conduct. According to the FBI release, Bjork defrauded more than 1 million from investors, including family friends and the Houston Athletic Foundation (HAF) where he served as treasurer.
Bjork’s fraudulent conduct came to light during the Securities and Exchange Commissions investigation into his former employers, Select Assets Management and J. David Financial. The two businesses were owed and operated by financial adviser David Salinas. During the investigation, Salinas committed suicide as the SEC got closer to uncovering his fraudulent bond scheme. In addition, the SEC investigation revealed an elaborate Ponzi scheme that Bjork had been operating for years. The full report is available here.
Bjork was ordered to pay $1,131,491.74 in restitution, but it appears unlikely that his victims will receive payment directly from Bjork. Ponzi schemes, like Bjork’s, operate by using the funds from new investor to send returns to old investors. In addition, the money is often spent on personal expenses in order to keep up appearances. However, victims may be able to recover their losses in a FINRA dispute claim against the brokerage-firms that employed Bjork.
According to his FINRA Broker Check report, in addition to his employment at Select Assets Management and J. David Financial, Bjork was a registered FINRA financial advisor. During the relevant time, Bjork worked with Securities Service Network from 02/1995- 02/1996, Securities America from 01/1996 -12/2001, Golden Beneficial Securities Corporation from 12/2003 – 12/2011, and World Equity Group from 03/2011 – 07/2011.
Brokerage firms have a supervisory responsibility to monitor the activity and conduct of their brokers, including business transactions conducted outside the firm. When a broker, like Bjork, is guilty of defrauding clients, the brokerage firm may be liable for negligent supervision according to FINRA regulations and may be responsible for investment losses.
If you were a victim of Bjork and would like to speak with a securities attorney about your potential to recover losses through FINRA arbitration, please call the securities attorneys of The White Law Group at 312-238-9650 for a free consultation.
The White Law Group, LLC is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, and investor protection law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Boca Raton, Florida.
For more information on The White Law Group, visit www.WhiteSecuritiesLaw.com.