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FINRA Suspends Former Stephens Financial Advisor Bentley Blackmon

Bentley Blackmon (CRD#: 2627221) is a previously registered Broker and Investment Advisor.

Broker’s Background

He entered the securities industry in 1995 and previously worked for Stephens, Inc.; and Morgan Stanley DW, Inc.

Current And Past Allegations Of Conduct Leading To Investment Loss

According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in March 2022, FINRA sanctioned Bentley Blackmon, levying a civil and administrative penalty/fine of $5,000, and suspending him from all capacities for three months beginning March 21, 2022 and ending June 20, 2022. The FINRA sanction states, “Without admitting or denying the findings, Blackmon consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he participated in private securities transactions without providing prior written notice to his member firm. The findings stated that Blackmon introduced a customer of the firm to the issuer of a private placement offering and informed the customer that he intended to invest in the offering himself. Blackmon also participated in a telephone conference with the customer and the issuer about the offering. Blackmon coordinated a wire transfer payment from the customer’s account at the firm to facilitate the customer’s initial investment of $195,000 in the offering. Later, after making an investment for himself, Blackmon disclosed his own investment in the offering to the firm. However, Blackmon did not disclose to the firm that he had also participated in the customer’s investment. Subsequently, Blackmon facilitated two additional wire transfer payments from the customer’s account at the firm for the customer’s additional investments in the offering, totaling approximately $250,000. Blackmon did not receive any commissions from the sale of the securities.”

For a copy of the FINRA sanction, click here.

In addition, Bentley Blackmon has been the subject of one customer complaint and employment disclosure, including the following:

  • September 2020 — “The Firm determined employee violated FINRA Rule 3280 and Firm policies as part of his participation in certain private securities transactions.” Bentley Blackmon was discharged from Stephens, Inc.
  • March 2008 — “CUSTOMER ALLEGES REPRESENTATIVE TOLD HER SHE COULD EARN ENOUGH MONEY IN HER ACCOUNT FOR HER TO WITHDRAW $4000 PER MONTH WITHOUT INVADING PRINCIPAL. CUSTOMER ALLEGES SHE DOES NOT REMEMBER THE ACCOUNT DOCUMENTS SHE SIGNED AND WAS NOT AWARE SHE HAD GRANTED DISCRETIONARY AUTHORITY ON HER ACCOUNTS. CUSTOMER ALLEGES THAT THERE ARE MISSTATEMENTS IN HER ACCOUNT APPLICATIONS. THE ALLEGED COMPENSATORY DAMAGE IS UNSPECIFIED.” The customer dispute was denied.

For a copy of Bentley Blackmon’s FINRA BrokerCheck, click here.

We Help Investors Recover Investment Losses

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.

FINRA Rule 3280 provides: “No person associated with a member shall participate in any manner in a private securities transaction except in accordance with the requirements of this Rule. Prior to participating in any private securities transaction, an associated person shall provide written notice to the member with which he is associated describing in detail the proposed transaction and the person’s proposed role therein and stating whether he has received or may receive selling compensation in connection with the transaction; provided however that, in the case of a series of related transactions in which no selling compensation has been or will be received, an associated person may provide a single written notice.”

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]