Commonwealth Financial Sued For Defective Investment Advice

Benjamin Frank Bourgeois Jr. of Metairie Louisiana a stockbroker formerly employed by Commonwealth Financial Network has been identified in a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim which was resolved for $15,000.00 in damages founded on accusations that the customer’s check had been misused by Bourgeois and that the customer received bad investment recommendations while Bourgeois was employed by LPL Financial LLC and Commonwealth Financial Network. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Arbitration No. 19-02356 (Mar. 13, 2020).

Bourgeois has been identified in three additional customer initiated investment related disputes pertaining to allegations of his misconduct while employed by securities broker dealers including FBT Investments and Commonwealth Financial Network. FINRA Public Disclosure indicates that Bourgeois has been referenced in a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim which was settled for $9,000.00 in damages supported by allegations that risks and sales charges had not been disclosed at the time of purchase. The claim also alleges that investments sold by Bourgeois were unsuitable.

Bourgeois is also the subject of a customer initiated investment related civil action brought in the United States District Court where the customer sought $519,500.00 in damages based upon accusations that the customer was defrauded and that the customer’s funds were converted by Bourgeois when the stockbroker was registered with Commonwealth Financial Network. Civil Action No. 2:19-cv-08104 (E.D. La. Apr. 5, 2019). The claim alleges that omissions were made by the stockbroker relating to the customer’s investments.

Bourgeois has been barred from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity based upon findings that he failed to comply with a FINRA investigation into allegations of his fraudulent activities and conversion of customer funds. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2019062162101 (May 28, 2019).

According to the AWC, an investigation was launched by FINRA after it received notification from Commonwealth Financial Network that Bourgeois was discharged founded on accusations of him borrowing from a customer in violation of company policies and FINRA rules. The stockbroker was instructed to hand over information and documentation in response to those accusations. Bourgeois’ legal counsel indicated to FINRA that Bourgeois would not be providing that information and documentation to the regulator at any point. Bourgeois violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210 in this respect.

Bourgeois was associated with Commonwealth Financial Network between May 29, 2015 and April 1, 2019.