Peiffer Wolf is currently investigating claims against James Couture of The Private Wealth Management Group, Legacy Financial Group and LPL Financial for defrauding investors.
According to FINRA’s BrokerCheck, James Couture has been the subject of 4 disclosures:
Prior to LPL Financial, James Couture was registered with Lincoln Financial Securities Corporation, New England Securities, and Morgan Stanley DW Inc.
If you invested with James Couture of The Private Wealth Management Group, Legacy Financial Group and LPL Financial, contact Peiffer Wolf immediately for a FREE Consultation.
To review James Couture’s BrokerCheck report, click here:
*BrokerCheck is run by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA)
On June 1, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged James Couture with defrauding clients:
The SEC’s complaint, filed in federal court in Massachusetts, alleges that from approximately 2009 to December 2019, James K. Couture, while operating an investment advisory and brokerage business, fraudulently prompted his advisory clients to sell portions of their securities holdings in order to fund large money transfers to an entity that, unbeknownst to his clients, Couture owned and controlled. According to the complaint, for each transaction, Couture obtained client authorization by falsely claiming that the proceeds would be reinvested for the clients’ financial benefit. In reality, Couture’s alleged purpose in arranging these transactions was to divert the sale proceeds for his own benefit.
The complaint alleges that, in furtherance of his scheme, Couture lulled clients into believing that their sale proceeds had been reinvested by providing them with fabricated account statements. When clients requested withdrawals, Couture allegedly took assets from his other advisory clients to cover those withdrawals. According to the complaint, in order to hide this misappropriation, Couture transferred client money through a web of third-party accounts to disguise that he was misappropriating money from one client to replace funds he had previously stolen from another.
On June 2, 2021, the U. S. Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts, also charged James Couture with fraud:
As alleged in charging documents, from approximately 2009 to 2020, Couture misappropriated approximately $2.8 million from his clients by transferring funds out of his clients’ accounts for investment in fictitious funds and using the money for other purposes, including to purchase a client list from another investment advisor. Couture also allegedly used client money to pay fake investment returns to other clients he had defrauded. For example, in or about June 2016, Couture allegedly liquidated one client’s variable annuities to fund withdrawals by another client. It is also alleged that in December 2019 and January 2020, Couture sold one client’s mutual funds and raided a 401(k) plan he managed to fund withdrawals by another client, whose assets Couture purported were held in a mutual fund account, when in fact neither the funds nor the account actually existed.
According to the Telegram & Gazette, James Couture is facing “both civil and criminal actions in federal court”:
The FBI alleges in court documents that Couture perpetrated the fraud through an investment advisory services firm he created, The Private Wealth Management Group LLC, as well as a shell company he created, Legacy Financial Group LLC. […]
The FBI wrote in court documents that Couture had clients of The Private Wealth Management Group transfer assets to Legacy, “but he did not tell them that Legacy was only a shell company that he controlled and did not hold or offer bona fide investment products.” […]
Financial advisors (brokers) have a legal obligation and regulatory obligation to recommend only suitable investments that are appropriate for their individual clients. Their broker-dealer (employing brokerage firm) has a legal obligation and regulatory obligation to supervise the financial advisor’s sales practices and dealings with clients. To the extent that any of these duties are breached, the customer may be entitled to a recovery of his or her investment losses.
Based on our experience, we believe that there are more investors who have been the victims of James Couture’s alleged broker misconduct and investment fraud. If you invested with James Couture of The Private Wealth Management Group, you should contact Peiffer Wolf immediately for a FREE Consultation.
Peiffer Wolf is currently investigating claims for anyone who invested with James Couture. If you invested with James Couture of The Private Wealth Management Group, Legacy Financial Group and LPL Financial, contact Peiffer Wolf immediately for a FREE Consultation.