More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- Preventing and Dealing with Client Complaints Although the SEC has not provided specific guidance on how client complaints should be handled, a firms policies and procedures should provide clear direction how to do so, as neglecting complaints can exacerbate a bad situation.
- Registration Requirements for Investment Advisor Representatives (IARs) When individuals launch an advisory firm, they must avoid marketing themselves or the firm as investment advisors before they are properly approved and registered. Otherwise, they are subject to severe penalties.
Investment advisor Sandra Venetis of Branchburg, New Jersey, and three of her firms have been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with operating a multimillion-dollar offering fraud that involved the sale of phony promissory notes to investors, many of whom are retired or unsophisticated in investments
Venetis, whose Form ADV reflects that she is registered in four states, was charged, along with Systematic Financial Associates, Inc., Systematic Financial Services, LLC, and Systematic Financial Services, Inc., with unregistered sales of securities in violation of the Securities Act of 1933 and with violations of the antifraud provisions of the Securities Act and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
The SEC alleges that Venetis made false promises to clients and others, using worthless documents and the lure of a return of 6% to 11% interest on funds that she then appropriated and used to pay for business and gambling debts, international travel, gambling, and property taxes and mortgages; she is also alleged to have channeled some of these funds to relatives.
Venetis has settled with the SEC on all charges, although the settlement is not final until approved by the court.