Publicly available records provided by the New Jersey Bureau of Securities and accessed on June 20, 2018 indicate that the Bureau has sanctioned New Jersey-based advisory firm Financial Planning Advisors, as well as its owner, Richard Belott, in connection with allegations they defrauded elderly customers. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Financial Planning Advisors and/or Mr. Belott (CRD# 4725262).
According to the Bureau, Richard Belott participated in sales of unregistered securities “to at least eight investors,” including elderly and retired customers. He then allegedly used at least $1.55 million of the investors’ funds on personal expenses, “including his daughter’s college tuition, extravagant trips for himself and his wife, and mortgage payments on the couple’s beach house.”
The Bureau’s findings state that Mr. Belott and Financial Planning Advisors, from 2008 until 2015, offered and sold “at least 24 promissory notes” which they represented as issued by local diners as well as a developer; he allegedly represented to customers that their funds were investments in the businesses in question. However, according to the Bureau, his investors did not receive promissory notes from the diners or the developer, but instead from the owners of the businesses in question, “who had undisclosed business relationships with Belott.” The Bureau states that at least one note was issued by Mr. Belott himself. As for the promissory notes, according to the Bureau, they came with a term of one year, or longer, and their interest rates ranged from 5% annually to 18% annually. The diners, developer and Financial Planning Associates made interest and principal payments from their bank accounts.