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Unsuitability Allegations Pending Against Former Integrity Brokerage Financial Advisor Joshua Helmle

Joshua Helmle (CRD#: 2195760) is a previously registered Broker and previously registered Investment Advisor. He entered the securities industry in 1991 and previously worked for Integrity Brokerage, LLC; Tradeway Securities Group, Inc.; D. E. Frey & Company, Inc.; Titan/Value Equities Group, Inc.; Nicholas-Applegate Securities (A California Limited Partnership); Jack White & Company, Inc.; Legend Capital Corporation; and Titan/Value Equities Group, Inc.

 

According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in September 2021, a customer dispute was filed against Joshua Helmle. The allegation states, “Investment losses since 2015.” Damages of $489,862 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

 

In addition, Joshua Helmle has additional disclosures, including the following:

 

  • December 2020–”Internal investigation into performance of supervisory responsibilities, potential breach of firm procedures, unauthorized representation of firm in disciplinary proceeding and prior alleged conduct in an enforcement proceeding.” Joshua Helmle was permitted to resign from Integrity Brokerage, LLC after allegations were made.
  • April 2020–”Helmle was named a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that he and his member firm permitted and enabled a statutorily disqualified person to associate with the firm and engage in its securities business despite his disqualified status. THe complaint alleges that the firm, acting through Helmle, failed to register the disqualified person with FINRA in any capacity, including in the capacity of a General Securities Representative. The firm and Helmle each permitted and enabled the disqualified person to engage in firm securities business without being appropriately registered.” FINRA sanctioned Joshua Helmle with a monetary penalty other than fines of $10,753.33 and barred him from all capacities indefinitely beginning September 9, 2021. For a copy of the FINRA sanction, click here.
  • August 2010–”THE CLIENT NAME HELMLE AS A DEFENDANT, ALTHOUGH HE WAS NOT BROKER ON THE ACCOUNT AND WAS NOT THE OSJ MANAGER. ALLEGATION SHOULD HAVE BEEN CLAIMING FAILURE TO SUPERVISE BY THE FIRM. THEY NAME HELMLE FOR MONETARY REASONS AND HELMLE DECIDED TO SETTLE RATHER THAN FIGHT THE CIVIL LITIGATION THAT WAS FILED IN MAINE WHEN HELMLE LIVES IN CALIFORNIA. THEY HAD NO RIGHT TO FILE AGAINST HELMLE AND IT WOULD HAVE BEEN DISMISSED AND REJECTED BY COURT AND COMPELLED TO ARBITRATE AGAINST BROKER (LIGOR) AND FIRM BUT NOT AGAINST HELMLE. HOWEVER, IT WOULD HAVE COST MORE TO FIGHT THAN SETTLE.” The customer dispute was settled for $22,5000.

 

For a copy of Joshua Helmle’s FINRA BrokerCheck, 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.

 

Reasonable basis suitability requires that a recommended investment or investment strategy be suitable or appropriate for at least some investors. Reasonable basis suitability requires an advisor to conduct adequate due diligence so that he or she can determine the risks and rewards of the investment or investment strategy.

 

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.

 

Customer-specific suitability requires that a member or associated person have a reasonable basis to believe that the recommendation is suitable for a particular customer based on that customer’s investment profile. Among the criteria that a financial advisor must evaluate to satisfy his or her customer-specific suitability obligations include the investor’s agee, tax status, time horizon, liquidity needs, and risk tolerance; a client’s other investments, financial situation and needs, investment objectives, and any other information disclosed by the customer should also be considered.

 

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.

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