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SEC Files Enforcement Action Against Financial Advisor, Douglas Simanski, For Allegedly Defrauding Investors Out Of More Than $3.9 Million

The Wolper Law Firm is currently investigating claims against Douglas Simanski, a former Financial Advisor at NEXT Financial Group in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Sean Kelly has been in the securities industry since 2000 and previously worked at Securities America.

According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), on November 2, 2018, the SEC filed an enforcement action against Sean Kelly, alleging that he defrauded customers out of more than $1 million. The SEC’s press release summarizing the alleges:

The SEC’s complaint alleges that Douglas P. Simanski raised over $3.9 million from approximately 27 of his brokerage customers and investment advisory clients, many of them retired or elderly, by telling them that he would invest their money in either a “tax free” fixed rate investment, a rental car company, or one of two coal mining companies in which Simanski claimed to have an ownership interest. He allegedly told the investors to write checks payable to personal bank and brokerage accounts he opened in his wife’s name. The complaint alleges that instead of investing the money as he promised, Simanski largely used the money to repay other investors and for his personal use. According to the complaint, Simanski’s scheme collapsed when one of his clients contacted the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Simanski admitted his scheme to his employer.

For a full copy of the SEC Complaint, click https://www.sec.gov/litigation/complaints/2018/comp24334.pdf
Over the last two years, Douglas Simanski has also been the subject of 20+ customer complaints, all of which have been settled by his employing brokerage firm. The customer complaints almost uniformly allege that Douglas Simanski diverted client funds for personal use.

For a full copy of Douglas Simanski’s FINRA disclosure report, including all customer complaints, click https://brokercheck.finra.org/individual/summary/2606998#disclosuresSection

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.

If you or someone you know was a customer Douglas Simanski and you experienced investment losses, please contact the Wolper Law Firm at 800.931.8452 or by email at mwolper@wolperlawfirm.com to discuss your specific situation and the legal options available. The Wolper Law Firm represents investors nationwide in securities litigation and arbitration.

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.

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]