JP Turner’s new owner is doing what the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the SEC should have done long ago. They are shutting the place down. Long plagued by regulatory problems and allegations of investment fraud, new owner Cetera Financial Group has invited about half of JP Turner’s stockbrokers to join another firm the company owns, Summit Brokerage Services, Inc.
What about the dozens of other stockbrokers? They have been cast to the four winds and now able to spread financial mayhem from new firms, assuming they can find jobs.
If our words seem a bit harsh it is because of some of the cases we have handled and seen involving JP Turner. To be fair, it is probably only a very few bad apples that gave the firm its bad reputation.
According to Investment News, JP Turner has 36 disclosures on its record including 24 regulatory actions and 12 customer arbitrations.
We know of at least one JP Turner broker who was actively peddling a Ponzi scheme investment in a company called PIWM. Short for Private International Wealth Management, the investment was fraught with red flags. Unfortunately, the investment also paid lucrative commissions to the selling brokers.
Stockbrokers have an obligation to vet the investments they offer to customers. The deciding factor, of course, should be what best for the customer and not what is best for the stockbroker.
Stockbrokers may come and go but firms like JP Turner have a duty to properly supervise their workforce. If an individual broker makes an unsuitable investment recommendation or fails to conduct proper due diligence the brokerage firm can be held financially responsible.
Apparently we are not the only ones with concerns about JP Turner. Investment News quotes an industry source as saying one of the major clearing firms would not allow JP Turner to convert to their platform because of its poor reputation.
A commenter on the Investment News website said JP Turner’s compliance record as published by regulators was so bad that one attempting to open it online would “run out of bandwidth! How FINRA didn’t shut this operation down is a tribute to their incompetence.”
As noted above, many of the brokers at JP Turner are only guilty of working at the wrong place at the wrong time. It appears that the firm’s new owner Cetera is at least trying to make sure some of the good reps have jobs with a sister company.
More recently in 2019, Ricky Mantei a/k/a Ricky Mantel was charged by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for engaging in unauthorized preauthorized trading. The events took place while Mantei was a branch officer manager for JP Turner’s Lexington, South Carolina branch.
According to the regulators, fifteen stockbrokers who worked for Mantei routinely advised customers to purchase fixed income products. The brokers, with help of a trader also working for J.P. Turner, manipulated the prices charged to their customers.
FINRA’s BrokerCheck system says Mantei was the subject of a whopping twelve investor clients while at JP Turner, Summit Investments and Centaurus.
Another JP Turner, Salvatore Palermo, was charged by the SEC in 2018 with manipulating transactions records to skirt limits on fixed income products.
Our concern is how future claims will be paid. We know of at least one customer who is sitting on the fence and deciding whether to file a claim. Time is running out. Wait much longer and there won’t be a company to pursue.
There is a misperception by members of the public that bringing investment fraud claims against stockbrokers is an expensive or tedious process. Complex? Yes but not expensive. Most stockbroker fraud lawyers take these cases on a contingent fee basis and only charge a fee if they recover money.
Most stockbroker negligence and fraud claims are handled by arbitration and are completed in about one year. Even if the stockbroker has long left the industry or becomes judgment proof we can usually pursue his or her employer for failing to properly supervise.
Were You the Victim of a Bad JP Turner Stockbroker?
Need more information? Please visit our stockbroker fraud information page. Ready to see if you have a case? Attorney Brian Mahany can be reached at or by telephone at . All inquiries kept completely confidential. Our minimum loss size in most instances is $200,000.
MahanyLaw – America’s Fraud Lawyers