In a complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 24, 2015, former Edward Jones broker Bernard Parker of Indiana, PA was charged with fraud, accused by the SEC of stealing investor money to remodel his house and pay other bills.
The SEC charged Parker with conducting an unregistered and fraudulent offering from 2008 to 2014 through his company Parker Financial Services by convincing long standing clients to invest over $1.2 million into what Parker described as “real estate tax lien certificates”, whereby the customers would earn returns of six to nine percent. Bernard Parker told these clients that Parker Financial Services would be using the funds to purchase tax liens placed by municipalities on properties primarily in Florida, Arizona, and Colorado.
However according to the SEC, Bernard Parker only used a small portion of those funds to purchase tax liens, and instead used the money to remodel his home in Indiana, Pa., make car payments, and pay bills for his father-in-law. According to the complaint, Parker withdrew more than $650,000 in investor funds in cash from teller transactions, ATM withdrawals, and checks cashed at local supermarkets. He spent approximately $197,000 of investor money in point-of-sale transactions, wrote $150,000 of personal checks, and used $169,000 for online bill payments.
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.
Bernard Parker registration and disciplinary history
In order to lawfully sell investments to the public, one must either be registered or exempt from registration. Bernard Parker was registered with:
According to FINRA’s CRD disclosure report, Bernard Parker has been the subject of two customer complaints and one regulatory investigation.
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