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SEC Charges Former Edward Jones Broker Bernard Thompson with Fraud

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today announced fraud charges against former Pennsylvania-based Edward Jones broker Bernard Thompson. The securities and investment fraud law firm is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Thompson (CRD# 2010184).

Bernard Thompson has spent 24 years in the securities industry and was most recently registered with Edward Jones in Indiana, Pennsylvania (2006-2014). Previous registrations include Beaconsfield Financial Services in Indiana, Pennsylvania (1993-2006); North American Management in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (1991-1993); and First American National Securities in Duluth, Georgia (1989-1990). He is currently not licensed to act as a broker, nor registered with any state or firm.

According to the SEC, Bernard Parker raised more than $1.2 million in funds from brokerage customers and others “who were told they were purchasing legitimate real estate tax lien certificates” from which they would later earn returns of “six to nine percent annually.” Mr. Parker allegedly used only “a small amount” of these funds to purchase the tax liens in question, and rather used his investors’ money “to remodel his home in Indiana, Pa., make car payments, and pay bills for his father in law.

The alleged fraud took place from 2008 to 2014 and was conducted through Bernard Parker’s company, Parker Financial Services. According to the SEC, Mr. Parker “pooled the money he raised from investors into several bank accounts, and when he cashed investors’ checks he routinely deposited a portion of the money into a bank account and took the remainder in cash.” Then, he “withdrew more than $650,000 in investor funds in cash from teller transactions, ATM withdrawals, and checks cashed at local supermarkets.” According to the SEC, Bernard Parker attempted to conceal his activities by “approximately $188,000 in purported interest payments to earlier investors in an effort to keep his scheme from being discovered.”

Bernard Parker’s alleged activities violated Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1933. They also violate Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The SEC is seeking disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and monetary penalties in the pending action.

According to his BrokerCheck report, Bernard Parker is also the subject of one customer complaint, one closed customer complaint, one regulatory sanction, and six judgments or liens.

In March 2015 a customer alleged Bernard Parker converted funds for his own personal use. The complaint settled for more than $231,600.

In October 2015 Bernard Parker was suspended from the securities industry following allegations he failed to respond to a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) request for information.

If you or someone you know has complaints regarding Bernard Parker, call the securities and investment fraud law firm Fitapelli Kurta at 877-238-4175 for a free consultation. You may be able to recover lost funds. Fitapelli Kurta accepts every case on contingency: we only receive payment if and when you collect money. Time to file your claim might be limited, so we suggest you avoid delay. Call 877-238-4175 now to speak to an attorney for free.