Palm Beach County Broker Barred After Refusing to Cooperate With ‘Selling Away’ Investigation
Antonio Gutierrez Puente (CRD#: 2695224) is a former registered broker and investment adviser. From February 1999 to September 2018, Mr. Puente was a representative at Valic Financial Advisors, Inc. and based at a branch location in Miami.
In the fall of 2018, this broker was discharged by Valic Financial following the firm’s internal investigation into allegations that he engaged in improper, undisclosed private securities transactions. Here, our Miami selling away investments attorney provides an overview of the allegations against the former Florida financial advisor.
FINRA Investigation: Miami Broker Barred for Regulatory Violations
After receiving a Form U5 from Valic Financial Advisors, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) initiated its own inquiry into the conduct of Florida financial advisor Antonio Gutierrez Puente (Case No. 2018059909701). To complete the investigation into allegations that he improperly “sold away” from the firm, FINRA requested on-the-record testimony and financial documents and records from Mr. Puente.
In a January 2020 phone call, the former Miami financial advisor confirmed that he had indeed received the requests, but he also indicated that he had no plans to cooperate with the investigation. Pursuant to FINRA Rule 8210 and FINRA Rule 2010, Antonio Puente has now been barred from associating with any member firm in any capacity.
Selling Away: What Investors Need to Know
Securities transactions are complex. They are highly regulated in order to protect the rights and interests of ordinary investors. Selling away occurs when a financial advisor participates in private securities transactions without approval or oversight from their member firm. Here are three key things that investors should know about selling away cases:
- Selling Away Puts Investors at Risk: FINRA has strict rules and regulations on private securities transactions because these types of arrangements are notoriously risky. A financial advisor selling away puts investors at unacceptable risk.
- Advisors Must Disclose: Before engaging in a private securities transaction, a financial advisor has a professional obligation to disclose the proposed arrangement to their member firm.
- Broker-Dealers Must Provide Oversight: Once a private securities transaction is disclosed, it is up to the brokerage firm to approve or reject the trade. If a broker-dealer allows their representative to engage in a private securities transaction, they will then become responsible for providing oversight and protecting investors.
Brokers and brokerage firms that fail to protect investors may be held legally liable for resulting losses. Customers who suffered major losses in private securities transactions should consult with an attorney.
Call Our Miami Selling Away Lawyers for Immediate Assistance
At Carlson & Associates, P.A., our Florida broker negligence attorneys have experience handling the full range of selling away claims. If you suffered losses related to a financial advisor’s outside business activities or private securities transactions, we are here to help. To schedule a completely confidential review of your selling away claim, call us now. We represent investors throughout the entire region, including in Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, Martin County, and Broward County.