In October, 2015, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) announced that Cory Don Williams of Monckton, MD, and formerly associated with Signator Investors submitted a letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which he was barred from association with any FINRA member. Without admitting or denying the findings, Williams consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he participated in at least 125 private securities transactions with another registered representative without providing written notice of the transactions to his member firm or receiving the firm’s approval. These securities transactions were in an investment called Colonial Tidewater Realty Income Partners.
FINRA found that approximately $13.5 million of the transactions were by Signator customers. Williams’ participation in the transactions included responding to customer requests related to investments in the company, authorizing wire transfers of funds from customer accounts at the firm to the company, and manually adding customers’ outside company holdings to consolidated statements that were sent to the customers.
Colonial Tidewater Realty Income Partners paid Williams approximately 3 percent of the assets he and another registered representative James Glover sold to customers, half of which Williams remitted to Glover, with proceeds to Williams totaling approximately $94,000.
In early 2012, the company stopped paying dividends and its shares are currently worthless. The findings also stated that Williams willfully failed to disclose unsatisfied tax liens on his Form U4. In addition, Williams submitted annual compliance questionnaires to the firm that contained false answers regarding his knowledge of the liens.
Cory Don Williams’s registration and disciplinary history
In order to lawfully sell investments to the public, one must either be registered or exempt from registration.
Cory Don Williams was registered with:
According to FINRA’s CRD disclosure report, Cory Don Williams has been the subject of three customer complaints and two regulatory investigations.
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.