Barred former Independent Financial Group, LLC financial advisor Jon Pariser (CRD# 2755015) is accused of running a Ponzi scheme. Pariser was registered with Independent Financial Group, LLC in Pacific Grove, California from 2014 to May 2018. Previously, he was registered with SWS Financial Services, Inc. in Pacific Grove, California from 2013 to July 2014, when he was terminated regarding, “During a routine review of e-mail correspondence, firm supervisory personnel discovered e-mail correspondence containing statements potentially indicating that the representative had utilized unauthorized discretion.”
According to publicly available records, in June 2017 Pariser informed his former clients that he would be retiring and that Christopher A. Parris (CRD# 4552325), an unlicensed securities broker, would be taking over for him. Parris was last registered with Nationwide Securities, Inc. in Grandview Heights, Ohio from March 2004 to May 2005. Parris was sanctioned and suspended by FINRA in November 2015 for failing to respond to a FINRA request for information.
At the time the clients began working with Parris in June 2017, they did not know that Paris was barred by FINRA in November 2015, just more than two years earlier. The clients were sold an annuity previously by Pariser, but then Parris recommended they surrender the annuity in full and instead invest in First Nationle Solution, an alleged $102 million Ponzi scheme according to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which Pariser was allegedly orchestrating. The former clients allege that Independent Financial Group failed to supervise Pariser and allowed him to make an unsuitable recommendation to invest with Parris, causing the claimant to lose more than $135,000.
According to the SEC, “the defendants defrauded more than 600 investors through sales of securities in issuers they controlled, including First Nationle Solution LLC, United RL Capital Services, and Percipience Global Corp. The complaint alleges that investors were told that their funds would be used for the companies and some were guaranteed dividends or double-digit returns. But, according to the complaint, the defendants spent at least $20 million to enrich themselves, paid $38.5 million in Ponzi-like payments, and transferred much of the remainder in transactions that appear unrelated to the issuers’ purported businesses.”
In October 2018, Pariser was barred by FINRA after he consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he failed to provide FINRA with requested documents and information related to allegations that he referred some of his customers to an individual who was not registered and who may have recommended or sold potentially unsuitable securities to them.
Pariser has been the subject of three customer complaints between 2006 and 2018, one of which was closed without action, according to his CRD report. The complaints were regarding unauthorized trades and unsafe investments. Recent complaints are regarding:
- December 2018. “Claim IFG failed to supervise representative, allowing for him to recommend that they utilize the services of two individuals who were not affiliated with IFG and who convinced them to take their money from the investments held through IFG and make investments in promissory notes.” The customer is seeking $2.01 million in this pending customer complaint.
- August 2018. “Alleges that Mr. Pariser introduced her to an individual who was not licensed and who convinced her to surrender a portion of her VA and invest in “notes.” The customer is seeking $137,000 in this pending customer complaint.
- July 2018. “Claimant made investments in unregistered, non-exempt “notes” through individuals who were not affiliated with IFG; however, he claims that Mr. Pariser was somehow involved in convincing him to move his money and that IFG is somehow responsible for these actions.” The customer is seeking $630,000 in this pending customer complaint.
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, Independent Financial Group, LLC may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Parise’s and Parris’ customers.
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