More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- Scope of the Fiduciary Duty Owed by Investment Advisors A fiduciary obligation goes beyond the suitability standard typically owed by registered representatives of broker-dealer firms to clients. The relationship is built on the premise that the advisor will always do the right thing for the person or entity receiving advice.
- Best Practices for Working with Senior Investors Securities examiners deal harshly with RIAs that do not fulfill their fiduciary obligations toward senior investors, as the SEC and state securities regulators view older investors as particularly vulnerable and in need of protection.
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.