Massachusetts regulators fined Securities America $125,000 Wednesday over its failure to supervise the use of a commercial directed at elderly investors.
According to Commonwealth Secretary William F. Galvin, the state’s top securities regulator, one of the firm’s affiliated advisors ran “a deceptive radio advertising campaign which used the dangers of Alzheimer’s disease to gain access to seniors’ brokerage business.”
The complaint, first filed by Galvin’s offices in July 2015, also alleges that Securities America “approved the content of each of the radio advertisements without substantive review or follow-up of any kind.” In a separate complaint, the regulator named the advisor as Barry Graham Armstrong.
Securities America has about 2,200 affiliated advisors and over $70 billion in client assets. It is owned by Ladenburg Thalmann.
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“Securities America’s failure to adequately supervise the content of the Alzheimer’s ads created a foreseeable risk that seniors and those with loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s might be misled into believing that a solicitation-for-business advertisement was some type of public service announcement,” explained Galvin in a statement.