San Diego broker Ryan Bowers fined, suspended by FINRA

In November, 2015, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) announced that Ryan Bowers of San Diego, California submitted a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent in which he was assessed a deferred fine of $25,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for five months.

Without admitting or denying the findings, Ryan Bowers consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he was aware of, but failed to provide updated valuation information regarding private equity funds to the firm that was the custodian of investors’ holdings. The findings stated that as a result, the custodian produced account statements falsely representing that investors’ positions were unchanged, when in fact their positions had declined.

Ryan Bowers was the chief executive officer (CEO) of a registered investment adviser that served as the investment advisor for the private equity funds, and was responsible for management of these funds. The funds raised approximately $22 million in cash and securities from investors. The investment adviser reported periodic account values to investors in the funds through quarterly reports generated by a third-party company that served as the custodian of the funds’ investments, and through monthly reports generated by a third-party company that served as the custodian of the investors’ investments.

One of the registered investment adviser’s responsibilities was to timely transmit updated valuations of the funds to the third-party company that served as the custodian of investors’ investments, including their holdings in these particular funds. As the investment adviser’s CEO, Ryan Bowers was responsible for ensuring that this task was completed in a timely fashion. As a result of the failure to provide the custodian with updated valuation information, investors who were reviewing only their monthly account statements from the custodian, and not their quarterly account statements, would have been unaware of significant declines in the values of both funds.

The suspension is in effect from September 21, 2015, through February 20, 2016.

Ryan Bowers’s registration and disciplinary history

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

Ryan Bowers was registered with:

 03/2009 – 10/2013
WFG INVESTMENTS, INC. (CRD# 22704) – SAN DIEGO, CA
09/2002 – 02/2007
SECURITIES AMERICA, INC. (CRD# 10205) – SCOTTSDALE, AZ
08/1999 – 09/2002
THE ADVISORS GROUP, INC. (CRD# 14035) – BETHESDA, MD

According to FINRA’s CRD disclosure report, Ryan Bowers has been the subject of one 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