The Investor’s Watchdog

The Investor's Watchdog

San Francisco General Securities Representative Agrees to FINRA Sanctions to Resolve Securities Industry Violations for Soliciting Woodbridge Group of Companies Promissory Notes

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Department of Enforcement recently approved a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) submitted by James Lamont, a general securities representative currently associated with Whitehall-Parker Securities, Inc. in San Francisco and Novato, California.

According to his FINRA BrokerCheck report, Lamont has been associated with Whitehall-Parker since April 2015. He has been associated with four additional FINRA member firms, including Independent Financial Group in Novato, California from December 2006 to March 2015.

FINRA Department of Enforcement claims in the AWC that between September 2015 and November 2017, Lamont executed private securities transactions (PSTs) involving the sale of over $1.4 million in promissory notes relating to Woodbridge Group of Companies, LLC that were not approved by Whitehall-Parker. Woodbridge was a purported real-estate investment fund that was discovered to be a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme led by its CEO, Robert Shapiro.

During this time period, Lamont allegedly sold $1,467,000 in Woodbridge promissory notes to seven investors, three of whom were customers of Whitehall-Parker. In turn, Lamont received $81,417 in commissions for these transactions. FINRA Department of Enforcement asserts that Lamont violated NASD Rule 3040 and FINRA Rules 3280 and 2010 for failing to obtain approval prior to engaging in the PSTs and for misrepresenting his activity with Woodbridge Group of Companies as an outside business activity instead of PSTs in 2016. According to the AWC, Lamont did not disclose any activity related to Woodbridge in 2015 or 2017.

By signing the AWC, Lamont consented to an 18-month suspension from associating with any FINRA member firm in any capacity, a $10,000 fine and $81,417 disgorgement of commissions received, plus interest. In December 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida issued final judgments against Robert Shapiro and several other scheme orchestrators, including requiring them to disgorge ill-gotten gains and pay civil penalties. Over ten thousand victims experienced major losses and many are now seeking restitution.

If a broker was not properly supervised while registered at a brokerage firm, the firm can be held liable for the broker’s misconduct. Did you invest in the Woodbridge Group of Companies or invest under James Lamont and you suspect wrongdoing? If so, you may be able to recover from him or Whitehall-Parker Securities, Inc. Since 1998, ChapmanAlbin has been representing victims of investment fraud and broker misconduct. Call us (1-877-410-8172) today for a free, no obligation 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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