Former Hornor, Townsend & Kent, Inc. Financial Advisor Gary Hammond Barred for Allegedly Selling Away
Gary Hammond was a financial advisor for Hornor, Townsend & Kent, Inc., from August 2017 until December 2017. He was previously associated with Guardian Investor Services Corporation; Park Avenue Securities, LLC; MSI Financial Services, Inc.; Metropolitan Life Insurance Company; and MML Investors Services, LLC.
According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), on January 19, 2021, FINRA sanctioned Garry Hammond, barring him from associating with a brokerage firm. FINRA specifically held: “Respondent hereby accepts and consents, without admitting or denying the findings and solely for the purposes of this proceeding and any other proceeding brought by or on behalf of FINRA, or to which FINRA is a party, prior to a hearing and without an adjudication of any issue of law or fact, to the entry of the following findings by FINRA:
“Hammond first entered the securities industry in 1995. In 2000, he became registered as a General Securities Representative and General Securities Sales Supervisor through an association with a FINRA member later known as MSI Financial Services, LLC. In March 2017, Hammond became registered through an association with MML Investors Services, LLC when the firm acquired MSI Financial Services. MML Investor Services filed a Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration (Form U5) on May 3, 2017 reporting Hammond’s was “[t]erminated in connection with an internal review relating to violation of company policy as to the handling of a customer complaint and selling away.”
Gary Hammond is barred from association with any member firm in any capacity.
For a copy of Gary Hammond’s FINRA disciplinary action details, click here.
In addition, Gary Hammond has been the subject of several customer complaints, alleging the following:
• July 2019 – “Plaintiffs alleged Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices and State Securities Fraud regarding the advisor’s recommendation to invest in private securities commencing 2012.” The complaint was settled for $680,000.00.
• March 2019 – “Plaintiffs alleged Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices and State Securities Fraud regarding the advisor’s recommendation to invest in private securities commencing in 2005 and 2016.” The complaint requests $25,000.01 in damages and is pending.
• January 2019 – “Plaintiffs alleged Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practice, State Securities Fraud regarding an investment into a fictitious entity, in 2008, approximately.” The complaint was settled for $86,000.00.
• December 2018 – “Plaintiffs alleged Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices and State Securities Fraud regarding the advisor’s recommendation to invest in private securities commencing 1999.” The complaint was settled for $1,190,000.00.
• October 2018 – “Plaintiff alleged Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices and State Securities Fraud regarding the advisor’s recommendation to invest in private securities, commencing in 2000.” The complaint was settled for $975,000.00.
• May 2018 – “Plaintiff alleged Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practice and State Securities Fraud regarding the advisor’s recommendation to invest in private securities commencing 2014.” The complaint requests $25,000.01in damages and is pending.
• February 2018 – “Complainant alleged the former advisor’s investment recommendations were unsuitable, commencing on or about August 2014.” The complaint was closed with no action.
• August 2017 – “Based on the Form U5 amendment filed by the representative’s predecessor broker dealer, the customer alleged the advisor’s recommendation to purchase two variable annuities in June of 2014 was not in her best interests. Customer has alleged damages for the waiver of surrender penalties as noted below.” The complaint was denied.
• August 2017 – “Plaintiff alleged that from August 2011 through March 2012, approximately, the former advisor facilitated the withdrawal of brokerage account funds and invested the proceeds in fraudulent securities.” The complaint was withdrawn.
• April 2017 – Gary Hammond was “Terminated in connection with an internal review relating to violation of company policy as to the handling of a customer complaint and selling away,” by MLM Investors Services, LLC.
• May 2016 – “Customer alleged the advisor’s recommendation to purchase several variable life insurance policies, commencing in September 2010, was not appropriate.” The complaint was denied.
For a copy of Gary Hammond’s CRD, click here.
Financial advisors have a legal and regulatory obligation to recommend only suitable investments that are appropriate for their clients’ needs and objectives. Their employing brokerage firm has a legal and regulatory obligation to supervise the financial advisors’ sales practices and dealings with clients. To the extent any of these duties are breached, the customer may be entitled to a recovery of his or her investment losses.
In addition, 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 email@example.com.
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