Austin Dutton recently transitioned from Newbridge Securities Corp. and Center Street Securities, Inc. to join Sandlapper Securities in September 2017; this transition came after the Pennsylvania Securities Commission imposed a record $499,000 fine on Newbridge Securities, his previous employer from 2007-2017, for failing to “maintain a reasonable system for applying and enforcing written procedures” in derivative securities sales from 2012-2016.
After exiting Newbridge, Dutton was briefly affiliated with Tennessee’s Center Street Securities. The week after Newbridge was fined, Dutton faced his own $200,000 fine from the state of Pennsylvania; the state securities commission found he engaged in “dishonest or unethical practices in the securities business” by recommending an investment “without reasonable grounds to believe that the transaction or recommendation was suitable for the customer.”
According to Joseph N. DiStefano of Philly.com, “Once an available investment personality who pitched his products in FOP publications, free dinner meetings, and on radio programs as an alternative to mainstream pensions and stock funds, Dutton declined to discuss the recent changes.”
According to the Consent Agreement, the $499,000 fine levied against Dutton’s prior employer (Newbridge Securities) is solely for the failure to reasonably supervise Dutton; specifically, it is due to a failure to reasonably supervise Dutton’s sales of structured products. Additionally, Dutton was personally fined $200,000 in a separate action for misconduct, dishonest practices, and unethical practices in the securities business related to those same sales.
Even more concerning, “On Sept. 29, Sandlapper [Securities] (Dutton’s current employer) and its two top executives, Trevor Lee Gordon and Jack Charles Bixler, were served with a disciplinary complaint by FINRA, which accused them of imposing $8 million in “fraudulent markups” on investors in saltwater fracking waste wells in Texas’ Permian Basin energy development region. The complaint was first reported by Bruce Kelly at InvestmentNews.”
Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway is currently investigating the sales practices of both Dutton and Newbridge Securities. We are concerned with the their sale of structured products to both current and former clients. Concerns about possible broker misconduct and investment fraud are serious, and we are committed to fighting on behalf of investors. Contact Us Today for a FREE Consultation (585) 310-5140
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