TDCI Securities Division: 18 Disciplinary Actions Taken in 2016

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 | 9:30am

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s (TDCI) Securities Division announces that in 2016 a total of 18 disciplinary actions were taken and over $130,000 in fines and penalties were assessed against individuals and businesses found violating the state’s securities laws.

“The Department is committed to maintaining the integrity of the securities market in Tennessee and working on behalf of investors,” said TDCI Assistant Commissioner for Securities Frank Borger-Gilligan. “Our dedicated team works year-round to protect investors by requiring registration for investment professionals, requiring registration for certain securities, enforcing state statutes and rules, and educating the public about investment fraud.”

For January through December of 2016, the TDCI Securities Division processed over 32,000 securities offering filings and logged 64 securities complaints. The Division approved 106 broker-dealer firms and 33,852 broker dealer agents, as well as 50 state-registered investment adviser firms and 1,102 state-registered investment adviser representatives. In addition, TDCI outreach staff conducted 26 investor education events statewide and issued over 40 investor alerts and advisories. 

To help protect against fraud, TDCI urges Tennesseans to always do their research and ask plenty of questions before making an investment:

  • How are you compensated? Do you get a commission for recommending specific products? If you charge a fee for services, how is the fee calculated? Is there a cap on fees?
  • Does the investment adviser or any member of the firm act as a general partner or receive compensation from investments you recommend?
  • What is your educational background? How long have you been in the business? What did you do before you became an investment adviser?
  • What are your special areas of expertise?  Will you provide me with a list of clients I can call for references?
  • Are you a Certified Financial Planner? Do you belong to any professional organizations?                                                                
  • Have you ever been disciplined by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or any other regulatory organization such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)?
  • Are you registered as an investment adviser with the SEC or any states? If you are registered with the SEC, in which states have you submitted notice filings?
  • Who will handle my account? Will it be handled by an individual or a team?
  • Where will my funds or securities be held?
  • Will you provide a written analysis of my finances and your recommendations?
  • Do you work with other professionals, such as lawyers, accountants, broker-dealers, broker-dealer agents, and/or insurance agents? Do you pay them referral fees?
  • Once we have a plan, how often will we review its progress? How often will we meet?

Tennesseans are encouraged to visit the TDCI website where they can receive more information on fraud prevention, inspect disciplinary actions, and verify licenses of securities professionals.

If you suspect that you might be a victim of securities or insurance fraud, or if you would like to file a complaint or speak with an investigator, please contact the Tennessee Securities Division – Financial
Services Investigations Unit at (615) 741-5900. To file a complaint online, visit https://tn.gov/commerce/article/securities-file-a-complaint.

###