Articles Tagged with Securities America Inc

Mark McLaughlin, a Westover, Alabama mayor was recently and permanently barred from selling securities by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Alabama Securities Commission. Both entities alleged that McLaughlin engaged in unethical trading practices between 2010 and 2012. Between September 1989 through October 2012, he had served as a registered securities broker with multiple firms, including with Securities America Inc. He has been the mayor of Westover since 2004.

On November 8, 2013, the Alabama Securities Commission ordered McLaughlin to be “barred from further offers or sales of any security into, within or from the state of Alabama.” The commission is a state governmental agency regulating the securities industry in Alabama. This came after the investigation into whether McLaughlin may have committed several violations of the Alabama Securities Act. The ASC alleged that McLaughlin executed a total of 1,009 trades in his 10 most active accounts during the time period between August 1, 2011 until August 31, 2012. One of his clients paid $1,980.63 in commissions in February 2012 alone and had a turnover measure of 831 for a one-year period, which is high.

In November 2014, FINRA enacted a permanent bar on McLaughlin, who previously entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with FINRA, which claimed that he had engaged in excessive trading and had recommended unsuitable short-term trading of A-share mutual funds. A client alleged that losses in his account were caused by excessive trading. This is also against securities rules and regulations.

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating J. Randall Gladden, who recently entered into a Disciplinary Proceeding with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). He is accused of selling away, which is when a broker offers and/or sells a security that is not offered by his member firm. In Gladden’s case, he was registered with Securities Equity Group as a broker and allegedly conceived of and participated in the sales of securities for the Church Development Fund, LLC. The fund was used to make loans to churches, primarily for refinancing their existing real estate loans. From May 2011 until September 2013, Gladden solicited seven investors to invest more than $2.1 million in the fund through their securities purchases. For the sale of these securities, Gladden received an “operator fee.” If you invested money with J. Randall Gladden, you may be able to recover your investment losses by calling our law offices in Chicago. His firm, Securities Equity Group, may be responsible for your losses because they had a duty to reasonably supervise Gladden while he was employed with them.

Gladden was registered with Securities America Inc. in Lavista, Nebraska from August 1995 until May 1997 and Securities Service Network in Knoxville, Tennessee from May 1997 until February 2002. He is currently registered with Securities Equity Group in El Cajon, California and has been since April 2002. He has two customer disputes against him, according to his online public FINRA BrokerCheck report.

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Paul D. Garnett, who recently entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). According to his AWC, Mr. Garnett participated in private security transactions and an outside business activity while employed with Edward Jones. This is commonly referred to as “selling away” and is when a broker recommends or sells a security that is not held or offered by his member firm. It is a tactic used by brokers to generate large commissions for themselves. Allegedly, from March 2013 until July 2013, Garnett organized a private placement for SFG, an entity that was formed to acquire an interest in SFI, a helicopter medical evacuation business. Garnett solicited Edward Jones customers to invest in the entity. He himself even invested $140,000 in two other private securities offerings. For this he was fined $40,000 and suspended from the industry for one year.

According to his FINRA BrokerCheck report, Garnett was registered with Edward Jones in Beatrice, Nebraska from November 1975 until July 2013 and Securities America Inc. in Beatrice from August 2013 until October 2015. He has one customer dispute against him. He is not licensed within the industry.


Ryan N. Bowers entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating Bowers because of allegations by FINRA. The regulatory authority alleged that between January and October 2013, Bowers failed to provide updated information regarding two private equity funds to his firm, WFG Investments. Subsequently, a custodian produced account statements that falsely reported investor positions in the investment, saying their positions were unchanged, when, in reality, they had declined. Bowers was the Chief Executive Officer of an registered investment advisor (RIA) during the time he was associated with WFG. Allegedly, from 2007 until 2011, one of his funds raised $9 million in cash and securities from 64 investors. Another fund raised $13 million in cash and securities from 69 investors. Both of the funds invested in private securities and had a high degree of risk and speculation. FINRA alleged that between January and October 2013, the RIA’s under Bowers’ management the value of the investor’s positions declined. For these transgressions, Bowers was fined $25,000 and sanctioned. He was also suspended from FINRA for a period of five months.

Bowers was registered with The Advisors Group in Bethesda, Maryland from August 1989 until September 2002, Securities America Inc. in Scottsdale, Arizona from September 2002 until February 2007, and WFG Investments in San Diego, California from March 2009 until October 2013. He is not currently registered with any FINRA member firm. If you invested money with Ryan N. Bowers, please call our securities law firm at 312-332-4200 to speak with an attorney. The call is free with no obligation. His former firm, WFG Investments, may be liable for investment losses because of their inability to supervise him while he was employed there. We sue firms in the FINRA arbitration process to recover money for investors who have suffered financial losses.


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