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LPL, Massachusetts Reach Deal Tied to $26M Unregistered Securities Fine

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LPL Financial has reached a settlement with Massachusetts regulators that will return money to investors who were illegally sold securities since 2006.

“This agreement will give Massachusetts investors who were misled when they were offered these unregistered securities the chance to get their money back, with [3%] interest, and reinvest it in a way that works best for them,” Secretary of State William Galvin, the state’s top securities regulator, said in a statement.

The deal comes about one month after regulators in Alabama, Massachusetts and other states secured a $26 million nationwide agreement with the independent broker-dealer in cooperation with the North American Securities Administrators Association.

As a result of this national accord, other states are expected to make similar announcements over the coming months; each of them entered into separate administrative orders tied to the deal. Under the terms of the agreement, LPL is set to pay a fine of about $499,000 to each of the 52 U.S. states and territories and to reimburse investors for unregistered securities purchased since 2006.

In May, NASAA explained that the national settlement stemmed from the IBD’s “failure to establish and maintain reasonable policies and procedures to prevent the sale of unregistered, nonexempt [equity and fixed income] securities by LPL to its customers,” according to NASAA.

At the time NASAA disclosed the settlement, LPL explained: “We take our compliance and risk management obligations seriously and will continue to dedicate resources to this important work moving forward. We believe these resources, combined with additional expertise we’ve hired in the field of blue sky compliance, position us well with respect to this issue in the future. Our focus now is on offering remediation to investors who may have been affected.”

Blue sky regulations are those set by states to safeguard investors against securities fraud.

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