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Regulation and Compliance > Federal Regulation > FINRA

FINRA Bars Advisor Over Nontraded REIT Sales

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Gary J. Chackman, who was in the business for 22 years, has agreed to be barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and will face no more FINRA charges tied to his sales of nontraded REITs.

Chackman, who was affiliated with Summit Brokerage Services in March and April, spent the previous 10 years as an LPL Financial (LPLA) rep. Prior to LPL, his broker-dealer was AXA Advisors (1990-2001).

“Chackman recommended and effected unsuitable transactions in the accounts of at least eight LPL customers, overconcentrating his customers’ assets in real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other illiquid securities,” FINRA regulators said in a document they signed last week.

According to FINRA, Chackman’s record included one regulatory event, two investigations, five customer disputes, two terminations, one final disclosure event and two judgments.

FINRA documents show that LPL Financial ended its relationship with Chackman in March 2012 due to violations of policies and procedures covering alternative investments.

“When we became aware of Mr. Chackman’s activity we moved promptly to terminate him and took the necessary steps to improve systems to prevent similar misconduct in the future,” said an LPL Financial spokesperson in a statement.

The rep sold the nontraded REITs from July 2009 to February 2012. One client made seven $75,000 purchases of a REIT over six months. After a year, 35% of this client’s assets invested with Chackman and more than 25% of the client’s liquid net worth were held in nontraded REITs and other alternative investments.

“To evade LPL’s limitation on the concentration of alternative investments in customers’ accounts, Chackman regularly misidentified his customers’ purported liquid net worth on a required LPL form, the alternative investment purchase form,” according to FINRA.

For one client, for instance, he tripled the liquid net worth.

The misrepresentation and falsification of information allowed the advisor to boost his sales of non-traded REITs and also evade LPL’s supervision, while also causing LPL’s books and records to be inaccurate.

Check out REIT Restitution, Round 2: 5 Indie BDs Pay Another $10.7M in Massachusetts on ThinkAdvisor.


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