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Financial Advisor Brian Donnelly Suspended by FINRA After Allegations of Selling Away

Brain Donnelly (CRD#: 4288121) was previously registered as a Broker and Investment Advisor.

Broker’s Background

He entered the securities industry in 2001 and previously worked for First Allied Securities Inc.; Triad Advisors, Inc.; and ING Financial Advisors, LLC.

Current And Past Allegations Of Conduct Leading To Investment Loss

According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in June 2022, FINRA sanctioned Brian Donnelly, suspending him from all capacities for four months beginning July 5, 2022 and ending November 4, 2022. The FINRA sanction states, “Without admitting or denying the findings, Donnelly consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he participated in a private securities transaction by facilitating the sale of $250,000 of a security to a customer without providing prior written notice to his member firm. The findings stated that Donnelly introduced the customer to the president of a company seeking investments in limited partnership units. The limited partnership units were securities. After making the initial introduction, Donnelly provided to the customer the private placement memorandum for the investment and a presentation about the company. Donnelly also discussed with the company how the customer should make payment. Thereafter, the customer invested $250,000 in the company. Even after the customer made his investment in the company, Donnelly continued to act as an intermediary between the customer and the company. Donnelly did not receive any commissions or other compensation for his activities. Donnelly failed to provide prior written notice to the firm to participate in the company’s sale of limited partnership units to the customer, and his participation in the transaction was outside the regular course and scope of his employment with the firm. The findings also stated that Donnelly used his personal email account to communicate with the customer about securities transactions. Donnelly also used text messaging on his personal cell phone to communicate with another firm customer about securities transactions, including the liquidation of several securities that the customer held at the firm. Donnelly did not forward his emails or text messages to the firm for review or retention. As a result, Donnelly caused the firm to fail to retain the emails and text messages among its books and records.”

For a copy of the FINRA sanction, click here.

In addition, Brain Donnelly has been the subject of eleven other disclosures, including one customer complaint, various financial disclosures and an employment disclosure:

  • October 2019 — “Claimants elected to invest in GPB through joint Representatives in 2015 and now claim, after suspension of distributions, that the investment was not suitable.” The customer dispute was settled for $55,000.
  • March 2017 — A tax judgment/lien of $25,319 was levied against Brian Donnelly.
  • January 2017 — A tax judgment/lien of $32,494 was levied against Brian Donnelly.
  • June 2016 — A financial compromise was satisfied and released.
  • April 2016 — A tax judgment/lien of $100,891 was levied against Brian Donnelly.
  • April 2016 — A tax judgment/lien of $112,625 was levied against Brian Donnelly.
  • December 2015 — “Adviser initiated transactions that would have resulted in multiple commissions for a single transaction. Further, the ultimate transaction is determined to be in excess of permissible non-traded REIT guidelines. Loss of confidence in judgment, permitted adviser to resign after notified of termination.” Brain Donnelly was permitted to resign from Gitterman Wealth Management.
  • November 2013 — A tax judgment/lien of $150,480 was levied against Brian Donnelly.
  • October 2012 — A tax judgment/lien of $18,988 was levied against Brian Donnelly.
  • February 2012 — A tax judgment/lien of $17,543 was levied against Brian Donnelly.
  • April 2010 — A civil judgment/lien of $750 was levied against Brian Donnelly.

For a copy of Brian Donnelly’s FINRA BrokerCheck, click here.

We Help Investors Recover Investment Losses

Pursuant to FINRA Rule 3270, outside business activities in which Financial Advisors become involved must be disclosed.  This is in order to ensure that Financial Advisors do not engage in selling away.  The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) strictly prohibits financial advisors from “selling away” or selling securities and investments to clients that are not offered by the brokerage firm with which they are employed. For example, it is illegal and a violation of industry rules for a financial advisor to recommend or even suggest that a client invest in the financial advisor’s own business or a business operated by his or her friends or family. It is not necessary that the financial advisor earn any compensation for recommending an outside investment.

The purpose behind this prohibition is to ensure that a financial advisor only offers to sell securities that have been vetted by his or her employer brokerage firm through a rigorous due diligence process. Most brokerage firms have an approved list of investments, products, and research that can be provided or made available to clients. Any deviation by the financial advisor from the approved product list may constitute selling away.

The Wolper Law Firm represents investors nationwide in securities litigation and arbitration on a contingency fee basis.  Matt Wolper, the Managing Principal of the Wolper Law Firm, is a trial lawyer who has handled hundreds of securities cases during his career involving a wide range of products, strategies and securities. Prior to representing investors, he was a partner with a national law firm, where he represented some of the largest banks and brokerage firms in the world in securities matters. We can be reached at (800) 931-8452 or by email at mwolper@wolperlawfirm.com.

Attorney Matthew Wolper

Attorney Matthew WolperMatt Wolper is a trial lawyer who focuses exclusively on securities litigation and arbitration. Mr. Wolper has handled hundreds of securities matters nationwide before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), JAMS, and in state and federal court. Mr. Wolper has handled and tried cases involving complex financial products and strategies ranging from traditional stocks and bonds to options, margin and other securities-based lending products, closed/open-end mutual funds, structured products, hedge funds, and penny stocks. [Attorney Bio]