INRA Suspends, Fines Whitehall-Parker Broker James Lamont
Self-regulatory body, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), issued a suspension and $10,000 fine to Whitehall-Parker securities broker James Lamont (CRD#: 2846228, San Francisco, California). Namely, this securities broker, who worked with Whitehall-Parker since 2016, and who previously worked for Independent Financial Group from 2006 to 2015, entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (“AWC”) which FINRA accepted on Tuesday. Notably, this AWC contains findings of Lamont violating FINRA rules through engaging in unauthorized sales of Woodbridge promissory notes. Here’s more on the allegations against Lamont:
James Lamont Allegedly Engages In Private Securities Transactions
The AWC shows that James Lamont violated FINRA Rule 3280(b). This rule requires that a securities broker provide advanced written notice to the member (the brokerage firm employing the securities broker) for any private securities transactions. Specifically, FINRA requires that the securities broker discuss the specifics of the transaction and whether the stockbroker expects to receive compensation. Notably, the securities broker cannot engage in private transactions unless the brokerage firm approves.
In James Lamont’s case, he allegedly sold Woodbridge promissory notes to investors behind Whitehall-Parker’s back. Supposedly, Lamont convinced 7 clients to invest $1,467,000 in this supposed real-estate investment fund. It appears that Lamont made more than $81,000 in commissions for selling the notes. After clients purchased the Woodbridge notes, Woodbridge filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Not only that, but a final judgement that Securities and Exchange Commission obtained against Woodbridge’s founder, Robert Shapiro, required him to pay a 100 million dollar civil penalty to settle allegations that he operated a 1.2 billion dollar Ponzi scheme.
Allegedly, James Lamont failed to tell Whitehall-Parker that he sold Woodbridge notes. Instead, Lamont only disclosed an outside business activity involving Woodbridge Mortgage. FINRA stated that Lamont’s Woodbridge activities were private securities transactions, not just outside business activities. Also, Lamont supposedly told Whitehall-Parker that he did not engage in private securities transactions.
California Department of Business Oversight Orders Lamont To Cease And Desist
Evidently, on October 30, 2018, the California Department of Business Oversight (“CBDO”) ordered James Lamont to “desist and refrain” from selling unregistered securities to California residents. The Cease and Desist Order comes after the CBDO alleged that Lamont sold real estate based loan instruments through Woodbridge.
Sammons, Sigma Investors File Disputes Indicating James Lamont Misrepresented Investments
FINRA BrokerCheck shows that James Lamont’s clients took issue with his sales practices. In one of the disputes, FINRA Arbitration #: 13-00414, a client asserted causes of action including misrepresentation, omissions and breach of fiduciary duty. Supposedly, Lamont falsified information or did not disclose information about tenant in common (“TIC”) investments. The client also indicated that Lamont did not perform due diligence on the investments that he recommended. Moreover, it appears that Lamont placed his interests ahead of the client’s interests. Sammons or Sigma settled this dispute in March 2014 through a payment of $99,000 to the client.
Parkland Investor Suggests Lamont Was Negligent With TIC Transactions, Breached A Contract
A Parkland Securities client brought FINRA Arbitration #: 14-03653 in December 2014. Notably, the client alleged that James Lamont or Parkland was negligent in effectuating TIC transactions. Lamont supposedly breached an investment agreement through making the transactions. Also, like the Sammons and Sigma client, this client claimed that Lamont misrepresented investments. All things considered, on November 9, 2015, Parkland Securities agreed to pay this client $87,500 to settle the matter.
Did James Lamont Sell You Woodbridge Notes?
Experienced losses by investing in Woodbridge Notes or other investments through James Lamont? If so, contact Soreide Law Group at (888) 760-6552. Speak with experienced counsel about a possible recovery of your investment losses. Soreide Law Group represent clients on a contingency fee basis and advances all costs. The firm has recovered millions of dollars for investors who have suffered losses due to misconduct of brokers and brokerage firms.