The Investor’s Watchdog

The Investor's Watchdog

Broker Gary Forrest Consents to FINRA Sanctions to Resolve Allegations of Soliciting Woodbridge Promissory Notes without Firm Approval

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

On April 8, 2019, former registered representative Gary Forrest submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Department of Enforcement agreeing to a suspension from associating with any FINRA member firm and other sanctions for allegedly engaging in unapproved private securities transactions.

According to his FINRA BrokerCheck report, Forrest was most recently associated with American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. in Flint, Michigan from February 2007 to November 2016. On August 23, 2018, American Portfolio filed an amended Form U5 disclosing a customer arbitration alleging misrepresentation and an unsuitable recommendation in connection with the sale of promissory notes. Shortly after receiving this amended Form U5, FINRA Department of Enforcement began investigating these allegations.

FINRA Department of Enforcement alleges in the AWC that between September 2016 and November 2016, Forrest solicited investors to purchase promissory notes relating to the Woodbridge Group of Companies LLC (Woodbridge), a purported real estate investment fund. Forrest sold $826,986 in Woodbridge promissory notes to 15 investors, including 13 American Portfolio customers, even though the firm had denied his request to sell the promissory notes per the firm’s written supervisory procedures. Forrest received $25,905 in commissions in connection with these transactions.

Based on the foregoing, Gary Forrest violated FINRA Rules 3280 and 2010. Without admitting or denying the allegations made against him, Forrest consented to a 10-month suspension from associating with any FINRA member firm in all capacities, a $5,000 fine, and to disgorge $25,905.60, plus interest, in ill-gotten gains from the transactions.

The attorneys at ChapmanAlbin LLC presently represent investors against brokers and brokerage firms that sold Woodbridge promissory notes. If you purchased Woodbridge Group of Companies promissory notes at the advice of Gary Forrest, you may be able to recover from him or with American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc., the brokerage firm where he was registered. Since 1998, the experienced attorneys at ChapmanAlbin LLC have been fighting for victims of investment fraud and broker misconduct. Call us today at 1-877-410-8172 for a free consultation.

 

Author: Jason T. Albin

Jason Albin is an Attorney and Partner at ChapmanAlbin, the investor rights law firm. He has represented hundreds of investors who have lost money due to broker misconduct, unsuitable investment advice and fraud.​ Jason also represents individuals in “whistleblower” suits filed against unscrupulous companies that try to defraud the US federal and state governments.

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