On September 28, 2015 the SEC announced that it had filed fraud charges against Eldrick Woodley, a Houston-based investment advisor, for misappropriating close to $150,000 from customers. funds.
According to the SEC’s complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, Eldrick Woodley, through his advisory firm Woodley & Co. Wealth Strategies, undertook a fraudulent scheme to steal money from his advisory clients.
The SEC’s complaint alleges that Eldrick Woodley submitted a series of fraudulent fee invoices to the custodian of his clients’ accounts, purportedly as compensation for services Woodley performed and investments Woodley made on his clients’ behalf. According to the SEC’s complaint, the fee invoices were fictitious, as Woodley never performed the services or made the investments on behalf of the clients.
The above allegations contained in the SEC’s complaint have not been proven, and the issuance of a complaint represents the SEC’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.
Eldrick Woodley’ registration and disciplinary history
In order to lawfully sell investments to the public, one must either be registered or exempt from registration. Eldrick Woodley was registered with:
02/2009 – 11/2010
WELLS FARGO ADVISORS, LLC
10/2007 – 01/2009
NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL INVESTMENT SERVICES, LLC 04/2006 – 07/2007
AXA ADVISORS, LLC
04/2005 – 01/2006
A I M DISTRIBUTORS, INC.
According to FINRA’s CRD disclosure report, Eldrick Woodley has been the subject one civil suit.
The Law Office of David Liebrader practices exclusively in the field of investment loss recovery. For the past 23 years, we have dedicated our law practice to assisting investors who have been victims of investment fraud via fraudulent and unsuitable investment transactions. During that time we have recovered money for over one thousand individuals, pension plans, trusts and companies. The recoveries we have obtained via judgments, awards and settlements on behalf of our clients exceed $40,000,000.
When investors contact our firm they can expect prompt attention, and a detailed analysis of their issues. Typical claims that we are asked to review involve “unsuitability (where a financial advisor makes investment recommendations that are inconsistent with a customer’s investment objectives), claims for “churning” (where a broker enters into an excessive number of trades for the purpose of generating commissions), claims involving illiquid investments such as private placements (I.e., real estate investment trusts, limited partnerships, equipment leasing and oil and gas drilling programs) as well as claims for violations of state securities laws, which often provide investors remedies like attorney’s fees and interest, if they are successful on the claim.
Since a Supreme Court ruling in the 1980s, most investment related disputes between brokerage firms and their customers have been filed in an arbitration forum hosted by FINRA Dispute Resolution. FINRA, along with the SEC, serves as a securities industry “watchdog” and regulator. Most brokerage firms require their clients to sign binding arbitration agreements, mandating that any disputes between them be arbitrated at FINRA.
Investors pursuing claims at FINRA typically advance claims related to suitability. FINRA rules require that all registered representatives make suitable investment recommendations to their clients. Other claims are based on negligence or breach of fiduciary duty, while another category includes claims based on misrepresentations and fraud. Most claims filed with FINRA are resolved within 15 months, and oftentimes, the cases are resolved via settlement or mediation in under a year.
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 suspect that you have been the victim of investment fraud, or had a financial advisor recommend unsuitable investments to you, call us today for a free, confidential consultation at (702) 380-3131.