Florida Financial Advisor Now Barred by FINRA
Christopher Charles Hellman (CRD #6584084) was previously a registered broker and a registered investment advisor. In the early part of 2016, he was employed at FMSBonds in Miami, Florida. From September 2016 to October 2018, he served as a representative of Merrill Lynch in Boca Raton, Florida.
Recently, Mr. Hellman was barred by FINRA. Among other things, this financial advisor was accused of engaging in undisclosed and unapproved private placement securities transactions. As he refused to cooperate with a regulatory investigation in the alleged misconduct, Mr. Hellman was indefinitely barred from the securities industry.
Broker Misconduct: Former Merrill Lynch Advisor Christopher Charles Hellman
Undisclosed Private Securities Transactions
Christopher Hellman joined Merrill Lynch in September of 2016. In the fall of 2018, the compliance department of the brokerage firm learned that he may have been engaged in improper private securities transactions and outside business activities. Notably, under securities industry regulations, brokers must disclose and seek approval for private securities transactions from their member firm. The failure to do so is often referred to as “selling away”; and it puts investors at considerable financial risk. After a review of his conduct was completed by the broker-dealer, Mr. Hellman was terminated by Merrill Lynch. This discharge triggered a FINRA investigation into the allegations that he participated in undisclosed private securities transactions and that he misappropriated investor funds.
Failure to Cooperate With the FINRA Investigation
Under FINRA Rule 8210, all financial advisors and other registered persons are obligated to cooperate with regulatory investigations. When brokers fail to produce documents or to give testimony, they can be punished. In this case, Mr. Hellman refused to turn over any documents or records in connection with the allegations that he engaged in improper private placement transactions. Without admitting or denying any specific wrongdoing, he consented to a bar from the securities industry.
Investors Have Filed Complaints Against this Broker
As of early 2019, at least two investors have filed complaints against Christopher Charles Hellman that relate to his time as a Merrill Lynch broker in South Florida. The first dispute alleges losses caused by misappropriation of funds. This complaint has already been settled for $440,000 in financial damages. Another customer complaint — once again alleging investment losses as a result of “selling away” and misappropriation of funds — is currently still listed as pending by FINRA. If you lost money as a result of a financial advisor pushing you into a failed private placement investment, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your losses.
Speak to a Miami, FL Private Securities Transaction Lawyer Today
At Carlson & Associates, P.A., our FINRA arbitration attorneys have the skills and experience needed to represent investors who lost money as a result of a financial advisor who was selling away from their member firm. To get immediate help with your FINRA arbitration claim, please contact our Miami law office to schedule a strictly confidential investor losses consultation.