Lawrence Fawcett, Jr. Barred by FINRA

Lawrence Fawcett, Jr., formerly a broker for Westpark Capital, was recently barred from the securities industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), for refusing to appear at a hearing before the regulator investigating his trading history on behalf of his clients.  Mr. Fawcett was previously suspended from the securities industry by FINRA in December 2017 based on a finding by FINRA that he had recommended mutual fund transactions to a customer that were inappropriate.  Westpark terminated Mr. Fawcett, stating that he “conducted business from a non-disclosed location and made false representations about the firm.”  While clearly this statement is intentionally vague about the problems Westpark saw with Mr. Fawcett’s conduct, it sounds like Mr. Fawcett may have been selling away from the firm.

Brokers, like Mr. Fawcett, cannot “moonlight” and do investment business without their employer’s direct involvement.  Every brokerage firm is required to conduct an analysis and review of each investment offered for sale by their brokers before those investments can be offered for sale.  This process exists to benefit of the investing public, enable them to make informed decisions about what to invest in.  If the firm has not figured out what the risks involved with a particular investment are, there is no way that the brokers selling that product can realistically give the clients a fair analysis of the potential risks of investing compared to the potential reward.

If brokers circumvent that process, they deprive their customers of the company’s supervisory review.  Unfortunately, clients who are the victim of an advisor “selling away” often don’t know that it is going on.  This is what Westpark’s statement seems to imply: that Mr. Fawcett was doing business outside of the office and telling clients that products were approved in some way by Westpark when, in fact, they had not been.

Unfortunately, when brokers act dishonestly with some clients, as Mr. Fawcett has been accused of doing, they often do so with many clients.  If you are or were a client of Mr. Fawcett and believe you may have been inappropriately invested or otherwise lost money with him, contact the law firm of Shepherd, Smith, Edwards & Kantas LLP for a free, no obligation evaluation of your account to determine if you might have a claim to attempt to recover some or all of your losses.  All communications will be kept strictly confidential, and you will not be billed in any way for a consultation. 

Shepherd, Smith, Edwards & Kantas LLP has a team of attorneys, consultants and staff with more than 100 years of combined experience in the securities industry and in securities law. For more than two decades, our firm has represented thousands of investors nationwide to recover losses.

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