Florida Broker Suspended for Fraud, Permanently Barred for Failure to Cooperate with Investigation
Bryan C. Lightsey (CRD No. 4472767), a general securities broker who was most recently employed at the Orlando, FL office of International Assets Advisory, LLC, has been permanently barred from the securities industry. Initially, Mr. Lightsey was accused of making material misrepresentations to his investors in the course of recommending unsuitable investments. At the time that this misconduct occurred, Mr. Lightsey was employed at AXA Advisors, LLC, working out of an office in Boca Raton, Florida. These initial allegations led to Mr. Lightsey being permanently barred from the industry due to the fact that he repeatedly failed to cooperate with the FINRA enforcement officials who were investigating the claim against him.
The Broker Recommended Unsuitable Variable Annuities (VAs)
All registered investment advisors (RIAs) owe a fiduciary duty to their investors. A fiduciary duty is the highest standard of care under American law. It requires brokers to do many different things, including to always:
- Act with an adequate level of professional skill;
- Be straightforward and honest with investors; and
- Act in the best interests of their clients.
Unfortunately, in 2016, allegations arose that Mr. Lightsey failed to live up to these basic professional obligations. His member firm, AXA Advisors, LLC, discovered that he had made material misrepresentations to his clients in the course of recommending certain variable annuity investment products. Variable annuities are complex, high-fee financial products that are unsuitable for many everyday investors. After reviewing his actions, AXA Advisors terminated Brian Lightsey as a securities representative However, this was not the end of this case. As is a standard practice, FINRA initiated an investigation into Mr. Lightsey’s professional conduct.
The Failure to Respond to FINRA Investigators
Under industry regulations, all registered brokers and broker-dealers have a professional duty to cooperate with FINRA investigations and to comply with the requests of investigators. FINRA Rule 8210 allow FINRA’s Department of Enforcement to compel testimony from any broker who is under investigation. However, despite acknowledging that he received the testimony request from FINRA, Mr. Lightsey refused to answer any on-the-record questions from the investigators. This is a clear violation of industry rules, and it makes it difficult for regulators to do their job, which is to ensure that investors are fully protected from financial advisor fraud and broker negligence. As a result of his actions, this broker is now prohibited from associating with any FINRA member firm. Without admitting or denying anything, Mr. Lightsey consented to the punishment.
Speak to an Experienced Investment Fraud Lawyer Today
At Carlson & Associates, P.A., our practice is dedicated to fighting for the legal rights and financial interests of investors. If you lost money due to your broker’s negligence or misrepresentations, please call us now at 1-(305)-372-9700. We will review your case and determine what needs to be done next to get you the full and fair financial compensation that you are owed. From our office in Miami, we serve investors in Dade County, Palm Beach County, Broward County and throughout South Florida.