SEC Bars Former LPL Financial Broker and CFO of Federal Employees Benefits Counselors for Fraudulent Scheme involving Purchase of Variable Annuity Products with Retirement SavingsTuesday, January 21, 2020
On December 30, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed an Order Instituting Administrative Proceedings against Christopher S. Laws, a registered representative formerly associated with LPL Financial, LLC (LPL) from Alpharetta, Georgia.
Laws was associated with LPL starting in July 2005 and was the manager of LPL’s Alpharetta Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction starting in 2006. According to his BrokerCheck report through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Laws was discharged in December 2014 for “concerns regarding business practices, including communications with customers.” The SEC Order reveals that at the same time Laws was working at LPL, he also owned 50% of Keystone Capital Partners, Inc. d/b/a Federal Employees Benefits Counselors. Laws was this entity’s CFO and Secretary between 2012 and 2014.
The SEC’s original complaint against Laws alleged that between March 2012 and November 2014, Laws and other associates fraudulently convinced federal employees to rollover significant funds from their federal retirement accounts, which were called Thrift Savings Plan accounts, into variable annuity products promoted and offered by Federal Employee Benefits Counselors.
On December 27, 2019, a final judgment was entered by consent against Laws permanently enjoining him from future violations of Sections 17(a)(1) of the Securities Act of 1933. Laws was also barred from associating with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, or other persons and entities in the securities industry and from participating in any offering of a penny stock.
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