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Did You Lose Money Investing in REITs with Former Newbridge Securities Corporation Financial Advisor Austin Dutton Jr.?

Posted on Monday, August 30th, 2021 at 9:23 am    

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Erez Law is currently investigating former Newbridge Securities Corporation broker Austin Dutton Jr. (CRD# 2739167) regarding unsuitable recommendations. Austin has been registered with American Trust Investment Services, Inc. in Los Angeles, California since May 2020. Previously, Dutton was registered with the following brokerage firms:

  • Primex in New York, New York from 2019 to 2020
  • Sandlapper Wealth Management, LLC in Doylestown, Pennsylvania from 2017 to 2019
  • Sandlapper Securities, LLC in Doylestown, Pennsylvania from 2017 to 2019
  • Center Street Advisors, Inc. in Doylestown, Pennsylvania from July to September 2017

In March 2021, FINRA opened an investigation into Dutton: “FINRA made a preliminary determination to recommend that disciplinary action be brought against Austin Dutton alleging violations of FINRA Rules 2111 and 2010; and violations of FINRA Rules 4511 and 2010.” FINRA Rule 4511 states that members shall make and preserve books and records for a period of at least six years. FINRA Rule 2011 requires that a firm or associated person have a reasonable basis to believe a recommended transaction or investment strategy involving a security or securities is suitable for the customer. FINRA Rule 2010 requires a member, in the conduct of its business, shall observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.

In July 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities sanctioned Dutton to $200,000 in civil and administrative penalties and fines, alleging that he engaged in dishonest or unethical practices by recommending the purchase of a security to at least one customer without reasonable grounds to believe that the transaction would be suitable for the customer. 

Additionally, Dutton sold non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) managed by American Realty Capital (ARC), now AR Global, which were sold to police officers and city employees in Philadelphia. According to InvestmentNews, “The accounting scandal at the REIT, ARCP, resulted in its former chief accounting officer, Lisa McAlister, pleading guilty last summer to securities fraud. Last month, the ex-chief financial officer of ARCP, Brian Block, was found guilty of securities fraud in a jury trial in New York.”

Dutton has been the subject of 23 customer complaints between 2004 and 2020, one of which was closed without action, according to his CRD report. Recent complaints are regarding: 

June 2020. “Unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract.” The case is currently pending. 

January 2020. “Claimant alleges negligence, misrepresentation, omission and breach of fiduciary duty.” The client sought $95,000 in damages and the complaint was settled for $40,000.

May 2019. “Claimant alleges selling securities without adequate due diligence, negligence, misrepresentation, omission of material fact and breach of fiduciary duty.” The customer sought $230,000 in damages and the case was settled for $52,500. The case was regarding alternative investments and took place while Dutton was registered with Newbridge Securities Corp.

April 2019. “Claimants allege negligence, misreprentation, ommission of material facts, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract.” The customer sought $12,000 in damages and the case was settled for $6,000. The case was regarding alternative investments and took place while Dutton was registered with Newbridge Securities Corp.

January 2019. “Claimant alleges unsuitable investments, misrepresentation, ommission of material information, negligence.” The customer sought $140,000 in damages and the case was settled for $29,000. The case was regarding alternative investments and took place while Dutton was registered with Newbridge Securities Corp.

November 2018. “Claimant alleges negligence, misrepresentation, omission of material fact, breach of fiduciary duty.” The customer sought $250,000 in damages and the case was settled for $95,000.

October 2018. “Claimant alleges sale of unsuitable securities.” The customer sought $60,000 in damages and the case was settled for $25,000. The case was regarding structured products and took place while Dutton was registered with Newbridge Securities Corp.

August 2018. “Claimant alleges sale of unsuitable securities, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and misrepresentation.” The customer sought $33,000 in damages and the case was settled for $9,000. The case was regarding structured products and took place while Dutton was registered with Newbridge Securities Corp.

July 2018. “Claimant alleges sale of unsuitable securities, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and failure to supervise.” The customer sought $100,000 in damages and the case was settled for $25,000. The case was regarding corporate debt, structured products and real estate investment trusts (REITs) and took place while Dutton was registered with Newbridge Securities Corp.

July 2018. “Claimants allege sale of unsuitable securities, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and failure to supervise.” The customer sought $80,000 in damages and the case was settled for $15,000. The case was regarding structured products and took place while Dutton was registered with Newbridge Securities Corp.

June 2018. “Claimant alleges sale of unsuitable securities, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and failure to supervise.” The customer sought $100,000 in damages and the case was settled for $15,000. The case was regarding structured products and took place while Dutton was registered with Newbridge Securities Corp.

May 2018. “Claimant alleges unsuitable investments in his account resulted in damages.” The customer sought $130,000 in damages and the case was settled for $75,000.

May 2018. “Claimants allege their investment in an unsuitable security caused damages.” The customer sought $35,000 in damages and the case was settled for $11,000. The case was regarding REITs and took place while Dutton was registered with Newbridge Securities Corp.

May 2018. “Claimaints allege sale of unsuitable securities, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty.” The customer sought $225,000 in damages and the case was settled for $64,750. The case was regarding corporate debt, structured products and REITs and took place while Dutton was registered with Newbridge Securities Corp.

Pursuant to FINRA Rules, member firms are responsible for supervising a broker’s activities during the time the broker is registered with the firm. Therefore, Newbridge Securities Corporation may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Dutton’s customers.

Erez Law represents investors in the United States for claims against brokers and brokerage firms for wrongdoing. If you have experienced investment losses, please call us at 888-840-1571 or complete our contact form for a free consultation. Erez Law is a nationally recognized law firm representing individuals, trusts, corporations and institutions in claims against brokerage firms, banks and insurance companies on a contingency fee basis.