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FINRA Bars Ex-LPL Rep Accused of Investing Client’s Money in Ponzi Scheme

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What You Need to Know

  • The ex-LPL rep also allegedly moved a client's IRA to a different administrator and used forged documentation.
  • The former rep voluntarily resigned from LPL and is no longer registered as a broker or RIA.
  • He refused to turn over some documents to FINRA.

A former LPL Financial rep who allegedly invested a client’s money in a Ponzi scheme has been barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority from associating with any FINRA member in all capacities.

Without admitting or denying FINRA’s findings, Rhett Douglas Bedwell signed a FINRA letter of acceptance, waiver and consent on Feb. 10 in which he agreed to the sanction. FINRA signed the letter Tuesday.

LPL and David R. Matthews, a partner at law firm Matthews, Campbell, Rhoads, McClure & Thompson in Rogers, Arizona, who represented Bedwell in the dispute, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.

Bedwell was registered as a general securities representative through an association with LPL from 2017 to 2019, according to FINRA.  On Aug. 9, 2019, LPL filed a Form U5 Uniform Termination Notice stating that Bedwell had voluntarily resigned from the firm.

On Sept. 9, 2020, LPL filed an amended Form U5 disclosing that Bedwell had been identified in a pending customer arbitration alleging that, in 2019, he “moved client[']s IRA to a different administrator and used forged documentation to invest claimant’s money in a Ponzi scheme,” according to FINRA.

On Nov. 6, 2020, LPL filed a second amended Form U5 disclosing an internal review of Bedwell’s activities because of allegations from customers, according to FINRA.

FINRA sent letters to Bedwell on Sept. 14 and 28, 2020; Oct. 22, 2020; and Dec. 23, 2020, requesting the production of information and documents, pursuant to FINRA Rule 8210.

“Although Bedwell provided some of the information and documents requested in those letters, he failed to respond to certain of the requests,” according to the FINRA AWC letter.

During his counsel’s phone call with FINRA on Feb. 10, 2021 and through the AWC agreement, Bedwell acknowledged that he “received FINRA’s requests and will not produce the outstanding information or documents requested at any time,” according to FINRA.

By refusing to produce the information or documents requested by FINRA, he violated FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010 (governing standards of commercial honor and principles of trade), according to FINRA.

Bedwell is no longer registered as a broker or RIA, according to his report on FINRA’s BrokerCheck website. Prior to joining LPL, he worked for firms including Wells Fargo (2012-2015) and Edward Jones, his first FINRA member firm (2009-2012).