Publicly available records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on July 6, 2017 indicate that California-based brokerage and advisory firm Financial West Group was recently sanctioned by FINRA in connection to alleged rule violations. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Financial West Group (CRD# 16668).
Established in California in 1985, Financial West Group is headquartered in Westlake Village, California and registered with 52 US states and territories. Ellen Shearin is Chief Operations Officer; Gene Valentine is Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President; Corey White is Chief Compliance Officer; Debasish Banerjee is Financial and Operations Principal. The firm is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, FINRA and 1 other self-regulatory organizations.
According to the firm’s BrokerCheck report, Financial West Group has 28 regulatory and other disclosures.
In June 2017 FINRA sanctioned the firm following allegations, among others it “acted as a placement agent for a contingent private offering of securities without using an escrow account for investor funds” as required by FINRA rules and the firm’s written supervisory procedures. A letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2016049051501) signed by the firm and submitted to FINRA states further: “In December 2014 and January 2015, Respondent acted as a placement agent for a contingent private offering of securities. The terms of the offering were set forth in a private placement memorandum, which provided that if a minimum of $ I million was not raised by the closing date, the funds would be returned to the investors… With respect to contingent private placement offerings, Respondent’s written supervisory procedures required compliance with the escrow requirements of Exchange Act Rule 15c2-4. Respondent, however, did not enforce these procedures and as a result failed to comply with Rule 15c2-4.” Instead of causing the funds to be deposited into an escrow account, the firm allegedly instead “forwarded investor checks to the issuer that were deposited into the issuer’s bank account or caused investor funds held in accounts at its clearing firm to be transferred to the issuer’s bank account.” The firm was censured and issued a fine of $20,000.
If you or someone you know has complaints regarding Financial West Group, call Fitapelli Kurta at 877-238-4175 for a free consultation. You may be entitled to recover lost funds. All cases are taken on a contingency basis: we only receive payment if and when you collect money. Time to file your claim may be limited, so we suggest you avoid delay. Call 877-238-4175 now to speak to an attorney for free.