FINRA Files Complaint Against Former Florida Broker Donnie Ingram, Centaurus Financial Alleging Unsuitable Unit Investment Trusts, Alternative Investments Sales
Peiffer Wolf is currently investigating claims against Centaurus Financial and its former broker Donnie Ingram in light of the FINRA Complaint filed against the brokerage firm and its former registered representative over unsuitable Unit Investment Trust and alternative investment sales. Donnie Ingram was formerly an investment adviser with Ingram Advisory Services.
In September 2022, FINRA filed a Complaint against Donnie Ingram and Centaurus Financial alleging that the former Centaurus broker allegedly sold unsuitable Unit Investment Trusts and alternative investments to his customers. FINRA alleged that Donnie Ingram recommended that 83 customers purchase 595 “standard version Unit Investment Trusts (UITs) when there was an equivalent, lower cost “fee-based” UIT available.
By recommending the standard version UITs instead of the fee-based UITs, Ingram caused his customers to incur initial and deferred sales charges that would have been waived had Ingram recommended the fee-based UITs. The conduct occurred between September 2016 and September 2018.
Ingram recommended that his customers also invest in the preferred stock of a non-traded real estate investment trust and a non-traded business development company through Centaurus, instead of through Ingram Advisory, which caused his customers to pay selling commissions.
According to the FINRA Complaint, Ingram recommended and purchased two alternative investments for his customers: Bluerock Residential Growth REIT Inc. (BRG), which was an offering of preferred stock of a non-traded REIT, and MacKenzie Realty Capital, Inc. (MAC), a non-traded business development company. Centaurus allegedly entered into selling agreements with MacKenzie Realty Capital and Bluerock Residential Growth REIT, Inc. in July 2014 and May 2016. Centaurus was to be paid up to 7% of the gross proceeds of its sales.
FINRA alleged that Ingram could have elected to enter into selling agreements with these alternative investments on behalf of his investment advisory firm, Ingram Advisory, and then purchased those alternative investments at a reduced cost to his customers, but that he elected not to do so. Instead, Ingram purchased the alternative investments through Centaurus Financial, where he then allegedly earned commissions. This caused his customers to pay higher costs.
Between September 2016 and September 2018, the branch manager for Centaurus at its Winter Park, Florida location allegedly failed to supervise Ingram properly. Specifically, Ingram’s supervisor failed to conduct a suitability review of Ingram’s UIT and alternative investment recommendations. The branch manager failed to properly supervise Ingram despite being placed on heightened supervision beginning on January 1, 2018.
According to FINRA’s BrokerCheck, Donnie Ingram was registered with Centaurus Financial in its Winter Park, Florida location from July 2016 to October 2020. Before joining Centaurus, Ingram worked as a broker for Investors Capital Corporation from February 1997 to July 2016.
Ingram began his association with Centaurus Financial in July 2016. At the time he associated with Centaurus, the vast majority of Ingram’s customers at Centaurus were also clients of his investment advisory firm, Ingram Advisory. These customers had both advisory agreements with Ingram Advisory and brokerage accounts at Centaurus. These customers held their securities solely through their accounts at Centaurus.
Ingram’s BrokerCheck Report contains 9 customer disputes disclosures. 8 of the 9 customer disputes were settled, including:
To review Donnie Ingram’s Brokercheck report, click here:
*BrokerCheck is run by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA)
Based on our experience, we believe that some investors may have been the victims of investment fraud from Donnie Ingram. If you suffered investment losses with Donnie Ingram through Ingram Advisory Services or Centaurus Financial, contact Peiffer Wolf immediately for a FREE Consultation 585-310-5140.
If you believe you were a victim of investment fraud or broker misconduct, it is imperative to take action. Peiffer Wolf has represented thousands of victims, and we remain committed to fighting on behalf of investors.
Peiffer Wolf is currently investigating claims against Ingram Advisory, Centaurus Financial and Donnie Ingram for its recommendation of unsuitable unit investment trust, REITs and BDCs. If you’ve invested with Ingram through these firms, Contact US today by filling out a Contact Form or by calling 585-310-5140 to schedule a FREE Case Evaluation.
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Peiffer Wolf is currently investigating Donnie Ingram’s practices, as well as the products he recommended to individual investors. Concerns about possible broker misconduct and investment fraud are serious, and we are committed to fighting on behalf of investors. Contact Us today by filling out a Contact Form or by calling 585-310-5140 to schedule a FREE Case Evaluation.