FINRA charges WFG Investments’ Stuart Dickinson and Trent Schneiter

In a complaint filed by FINRA, and reported in November, 2015 Stuart Dickinson of Highland Park, Texas and formerly associated with WFG Investments was named a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that Dickinson failed to conduct adequate and reasonable due diligence on a private placement securities offering, and did not have a reasonable basis to recommend it to any of the customers who purchased it upon his recommendation.

The complaint alleges that Stuart Dickinson sold customers limited partnership interests in the private placement offering that offered investors the opportunity to acquire an income stream derived from the acquisition and operation of ATMs. FINRA alleges that had Dickinson conducted adequate and reasonable due diligence on the private placement offering, he would have detected multiple red flags indicating that the underlying purchase and operation of the ATMs was fraudulent.

Stuart Dickinson’s customers suffered a total loss of more than a million dollars because the underlying business scheme of the offering was a fraud and most of the ATMs were fictional.

The complaint also alleges that Trent Schneiter, a supervising principal and compliance officer in charge of alternative investments at his member firm, was responsible for supervising Dickinson’s due diligence, and for conducting his own due diligence.

FINRA alleges that Trent Schneiter failed to adequately supervise Dickinson and ensure that Dickinson conducted reasonable due diligence on the offering. The complaint further alleges that Trent Schneiter failed to provide prompt written notice to the firm that he owned a 5 percent interest in, and was the chief compliance officer (CCO) of, the general partner of the private placement securities offering.

 

The above allegations contained in FINRA’s complaint have not been proven, and the issuance of a disciplinary complaint represents FINRA’s initiation of a formal proceeding in which findings as to the allegations in the complaint have not been made, and does not represent a decision as to any of the allegations contained in the complaint.

Stuart Dickinson registration and disciplinary history

In order to lawfully sell investments to the public, one must either be registered or exempt from registration. Stuart Dickinson was registered with

10/2005 – 09/2013
WFG INVESTMENTS, INC. (CRD# 22704) – HIGHLAND PARK, TX
06/2005 – 11/2005
LINSCO/PRIVATE LEDGER CORP. (CRD# 6413) – BOSTON, MA
04/1992 – 05/2005
BEAR, STEARNS & CO. INC. (CRD# 79) – NEW YORK, NY
01/1987 – 04/1992
MERRILL LYNCH, PIERCE, FENNER & SMITH INCORPORATED (CRD# 7691) – NEW YORK, NY
05/1982 – 10/1982
GEO SECURITIES CORP. (CRD# 10366)

According to FINRA’s CRD disclosure report, Stuart Dickinson has been the subject of two customer complaints and two regulatory investigations.

The Law Office of David Liebrader practices exclusively in the field of investment loss recovery and our securities attorneys have successfully resolved over 1000 investment loss cases over the past 20 years. Recoveries for clients top $40 million. The types of claims we have successfully handled include those involving unsuitable investments (suitability claims), excessive trading or “churning”, misrepresentations and omissions, unauthorized trading, over-concentration of illiquid or overly risky investments, pump and dump scams involving “penny stocks”, direct participation programs (private placements) involving real estate investment trusts (REITS), oil and gas exploration programs, leasing equipment deals and receivable financing, promissory notes whether sold through a broker dealer or as part of the outside business activities of a registered representative, ponzi scheme losses, failure on the part of the broker dealer to perform due diligence, state securities law (blue sky) violations and failure to supervise.

Investment losses can be recovered through a process known as FINRA arbitration. FINRA regulates broker dealers that sell investments, and provides an arbitration forum to resolve investor disputes. Investors can pursue claims against their brokerage firms in the FINRA arbitration forum. Common claims in the forum are those for suitability, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentations and omissions, negligence, violation of FINRA rules, state and federal securities laws violations, elder abuse, breach of contract and failure to supervise. On average, the recovery process takes approximately a year, from start to finish.

FINRA’s rules require that all investment recommendations made by licensed financial advisors be suitable in light of a customer’s needs, objectives and risk tolerance. In addition, all registered representatives are required to be properly supervised, with periodic inspections and reviews by qualified supervisors, whose job it is to vigorously investigate suspicions of wrongdoing (red flags).

If you have suffered investment losses please call The Law Office of David Liebrader at (702) 380-3131 for a free, confidential consultation