Four Atlanta Brokers Charged With Fraud in Federal Government Retirement Accounts

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed fraud charges on Monday, July 31, 2017, against four Atlanta, Georgia area brokers for allegedly convincing older employees of the federal government who had a significant amount of money in their federal retirement accounts, to move the accounts to investments with higher fees.

It is alleged federal employees who were 59 ½ and over were targeted by the brokers, and the details of the recommended variable annuities they were asked to purchase were intentionally obscured. Also alleged by the SEC, the brokers implied to the victims that the group the brokers represented, the Federal Employee Benefits Counselors, was affiliated with the government. When in fact, the products offered by the group were processed by a private brokerage firm.

The SEC alleges that the brokers sold the federal employees approximately 200 variable annuities for around $40 million and they earned approximately $1.7 million in commissions. These actions allegedly took place between March 2012 and November 2014.

According to the SEC complaint, the brokers allegedly involved were Danny S. Hood, Brandon P. Long, Christopher Laws and Jonathan D. Cooke.

The SEC wants the money returned, plus interest, and other penalties. The accused brokers are not facing jail time.

The SEC has issued an investor alert reminding investors that the federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) will never contact federal employees asking them to provide personal information and does not authorize third parties to provide counseling or investment-related services.

The SEC has been focusing on brokers and financial advisors targeting elderly investors who are nearing the age of retirement.

DANNY SCOTT HOOD (DANNY HOOD) CRD#: 3236852, according to FINRA’s BrokerCheck, had been registered in the securities industry for 15 years and was listed with 9 firms, the three most recent listed below:

02/25/2015 – 08/28/2015  SUMMIT BROKERAGE SERVICES, INC. – ATLANTA, GA

12/11/2014 – 02/25/2015  BCG SECURITIES, INC. – Alphretta, GA

10/18/2012 – 12/27/2014  LPL FINANCIAL LLC – ALPHARETTA, GA

BRANDON PRESTON LONG (BRADON P LONG,BRANDON LONG) CRD#: 5975459, according to FINRA’s BrokerCheck had been registered in the securities industry for 4 years and was listed with 3 firms the 2 most recent listed below:

12/09/2014 – 04/03/2017  BCG SECURITIES, INC. – Roswell, GA

05/09/2014 – 12/27/2014  LPL FINANCIAL LLC – ALPHARETTA, GA 

JONATHAN DAX COOKE (DAX COOKE) CRD#: 5365691, according to FINRA’s BrokerCheck, had been registered in the securities industry for 8 years and was listed with two firms, the two most recent listed below:

12/09/2014 – 12/22/2016  BCG SECURITIES, INC. – Roswell, GA

05/27/2009 – 12/27/2014  LPL FINANCIAL LLC – ALPHARETTA, GA

CHRISTOPHER S LAWS CRD#: 4479529, according to FINRA’s BrokerCheck, had been registered in the securities industry for 15 years and was listed with 5 firms, the two most recent listed below:

12/09/2014 – 04/03/2017  BCG SECURITIES, INC. – Roswell, GA

07/12/2005 – 12/27/2014  LPL FINANCIAL LLC – ALPHARETTA, GA 

If you were a victim of this alleged fraud, call Soreide Law Group and speak to an experienced securities lawyer at no cost to you regarding the possible recovery of your investment losses through a FINRA arbitration at:  888-760-6552.

Soreide Law Group represents clients nationwide before FINRA and we operate on a contingency fee basis.  Let our experience work for you.

 

2017-08-02T18:01:50+00:00 August 2nd, 2017|

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