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Former Voya Financial Advisor William Johnson Has Ten Customer Complaints

William Colie Johnson (CRD#: 3174473) is a dually registered Broker and Investment Advisor at Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc. in Greenville, SC.

Broker’s Background

He entered the securities industry in 1999 and previously worked for Voya Financial Advisors, Inc.

Current And Past Allegations Of Conduct Leading To Investment Loss

According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), William Johnson has the customer complaints, alleging sales practice misconduct. Most recently, in September 2021, a customer dispute was filed against William Colie Johnson. The allegation states, “Client alleges that between 2012 and 2015, she was sold unsuitable, high-risk illiquid alternative investments. The client further alleges that the representative incorrectly listed her net worth and income information on account forms.” The customer dispute is pending.

In addition, William Colie Johnson has been the subject of nine customer complaints, including four that remain pending, including the following:

  • September 2021 – “Customer alleges that he was sold unsuitable, high-risk and illiquid alternative investments, and was told the investments purchased were safe and low-risk.” Damages of $90,000 are requested, and the customer dispute is pending.
  • September 2021 – “The claimant alleges that in November of 2015, the investment in question was misrepresented as a low risk, safe, and suitable investment.” Damages of $100,001 are requested and the customer dispute is pending.
  • July 2021 – “Client alleges in 2015 the representative recommended a illiquid real estate investment trust product that was not suitable.” Damages of $48,850 were requested. The customer dispute was denied.
  • July 2021 – “Claimants allege that they invested approximately $600,000 with the representative and he recommended an unsuitable strategy that included a number of high risk alternative investments between 2013 and 2017. They believe their losses are approximately $250,000.” Damages of $250,000 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.
  • October 2020 – “Claimants alleged that beginning in 2014 representative sold them unsuitable and risky investments which were against their wishes to invest in a conservative portfolio.” Damages of $200,000 are requested, and the customer dispute is pending.
  • March 2017 – “Clients allege that representative made promises which were not fulfilled.” Damages of $22,000 were requested. The customer dispute was denied.
  • August 2010 – “THE CLIENT ALLEGES THAT THE SALE OF CLASS A MUTUAL FUNDS AND THE SUBSEQUENT PURCHASE OF CLASS C MUTUAL FUNDS WAS UNSUITABLE DUE TO HIGHER EXPENSES.” The customer dispute was settled for $1,100.05.
  • August 2009 – “CUSTOMER ALLEGES THAT THE VARIABLE ANNUITY SOLD TO HIM BY THE REPRESENTATIVE WAS UNSUITABLE FOR HIS NEEDS, DESIRE OR UNDERSTANDING. FURTHER, THE VARIABLE ANNUITY DID NOT INCLUDE LIFETIME BENEFITS OR AN ANNUAL BASE INCREASE, BOTH ITEMS THE CUSTOMER UNDERSTOOD HE HAD. ARBITRATION FILING: CLAIMANT ALLEGES NEGLIGENCE, NEGLIGENT MISREPRESENTATION, CONSTRUCTIVE FRAUD, BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY, NEGLIGENT SUPERVISION AND TRAINING, AND VIOLATION OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES ACT AND UNIFORM SECURITIES ACT INVOLVING THE VARIABLE ANNUITY SOLD TO HIM BY THE REPRESENTATIVE.” The customer dispute was settled for $350,000.
  • February 2009 – “THE FIRM RECEIVED WRITTEN COMPLIANT FROM THE CLIENTS’ CLAIMING THAT REPRESENTATIVE DID NOT PROPERLY ALLOCATE ASSETS AND COMPLAINING ADVISORY FEES CHARGED IN HIS AND HIS WIFE’S ADVISORY ACCOUNTS.” Damages of $171,019.76 were requested. The customer dispute was denied.

For a copy of William Colie Johnson’s FINRA BrokerCheck, click here.

We Help Investors Recover Investment Losses

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.

Excessive trading often occurs when a Financial Advisor puts his or her interests ahead of the clients and makes transactions solely for the purpose of generating commissions. Financial Advisors have a regulatory duty to recommend suitable investment strategies. One of the components of the suitability analysis is quantitative suitability.

Quantitative suitability requires a brokerage firm or financial advisor with actual or de facto control over a customer’s account to have a reasonable basis for believing that a series of recommended transactions – even if suitable when viewed in isolation – is not excessive and unsuitable for the customer when taken together in light of the customer’s investment profile. No single test defines excessive activity, but factors such as the turnover rate, the cost-equity ratio, and the use of in-and-out trading in a customer’s account may provide a basis for a finding that a member or associated person has violated the quantitative suitability obligation. 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.

Alternative investments are not regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and are often subject to fraud and other schemes. Examples include commodities, hedge funds, real estate, derivatives contracts, private equity, managed futures, and venture capital. They are not typically regulated by the SEC, nor are they usually liquid or easy to value, which makes them risky investments. In addition, alternative investments are often open only to accredited investors with an income of $200,000 or more or a net worth in excess of $1M; they also require high up-front minimums. When these opportunities are opened to non-accredited investors, it may be because of unsuitability, fraud, selling away or misrepresentation, and the investor may incur losses.

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.

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]