LPL Financial Broker Steals Nearly $1.8 Million

It’s a common belief of people who hire brokers at recognized firms, but often incorrect.

“Investors are prone to believe that any firm with an impressive name and a long history is reputable.” — The Vigilant Investor, p. 153.

Elliott Kravitz was a broker for LPL Financial Services, one of the biggest independent broker-dealers in the world. Perhaps his clients felt safe having such a well known company standing behind their broker. Perhaps they assumed that LPL would never hire someone who would take advantage of investors. It’s a common belief of people who hire brokers at recognized firms, but often incorrect. Kravitz’s story makes the point. According to WLWT.com:

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A Course at College, But Not a College Course

Get advice from someone who has no financial interest in managing your money before you venture into the world where everyone wants a piece.

One of my partners recently received a very interesting brochure in the mail. It was an invitation to enroll in an “Educational Course for Adults — Ages 50 to 70.” The brochure states that the course is being conducted at Oglethorpe University, a well respected institution of higher learning here in Atlanta. In parenthesis (and smaller font), they disclose that the course is not affiliated with the university. It seems that the course presenters are only renting out a classroom. The brochure is eight pages long and includes a Course Outline and a Course Preview. They plan to cover “Retirement Needs and Expenses,” “Retirement Roadblocks and Mistakes,” and many other areas of interest to retirees and those approaching retirement. The instructors represent that they have earned the Certified Financial Planners designation. They are affiliated with LPL Financial, which is the largest independent broker-dealer in the U.S..  (more…)

SEC Charges Former LPL Financial Broker with Promissory Note Scam

Scam artists love to use promissory notes in these uncertain economic times because they seem more safe than a hedge fund investment. It’s all the same to the scam artist; there is no legitimate enterprise behind his sales pitch. So, he aims to sell you what he thinks you are most interested in buying.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged former LPL Financial stockbroker Gregory Todd Froning with misappropriating more than $800,000 from fifteen investors.  According to the SEC’s press release: (more…)

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