Global Strategic Investments Broker Barred for Stealing Customer Funds
Alejandro Ariel Torres, a former general securities representative with Global Strategic Advisors, was permanently barred from association with any FINRA member and ordered to pay restitution of nearly $60,000 to a former customer after consenting to FINRA findings that Torres stole funds from his customers, engaged in outside business activities, falsified firm documents regarding outside business activities, and had failed to respond to FINRA’s requests for information and documentation and testimony regarding his conduct. FINRA Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent No. 2014041282601 (May 22, 2015).
Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent
According to the Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (“AWC”), in December of 2013, Alejandro Ariel Torres had approached his firm’s customer by the name of BMS, for purposes of partnering with her in a start-up business called Towers Investments LLC (“Towers”). After Torres obtained $75,000 of funds from BMS as a capital investment, he converted $59,600 of the funds for personal expenses which included car payments, tire repairs, meals, and veterinarian bills. Torres would then conceal his conversion by having the Towers bank statements sent to him rather than BMS. FINRA found Torres conduct to have violated FINRA Rule 2010 for his conversion of funds from BMS.
The AWC also noted that Alejandro Ariel Torres’ conduct of opening the Towers company constituted an outside business activity considering its formation as an LLC under FL law, bank accounts being opened in the company’s name, an EIN from the IRS being provided, and the LLC’s articles of organization naming Torres as managing member. Since Torres did not notify his Firm of his outside business activity, Torres was found to have violated FINRA Rule 2010 and 3270.
Further, the AWC noted that in January of 2014, Alejandro Ariel Torres lied on his outside business activities questionnaire provided by his FINRA firm. The AWC indicates that Torres misrepresented his ownership in Tower, claiming that he was the sole owner and had not negotiated the sale of any interest of Tower to a third party. Since BMS owned 50% of Towers, FINRA found Torres made false statements to his former firm, violating FINRA rule 2010.
Finally, FINRA, pursuant to Rule 8210, requested that Alejandro Ariel Torres provide information and documentation pertaining to his transactions associated with Tower, specifically concerning the expenses associated with the Towers bank account in which Torres stole BMS’s funds. The AWC noted that Torres failed to answer FINRA’s numerous request for documents, ultimately concluding with his counsel informing FINRA’s Department of Enforcement on April 8, 2015, that Torres would not be cooperating with FINRA’s investigation. Torres was barred by FINRA as a result.
FINRA registered representatives like Torres who do not cooperate with FINRA’s investigations often face a permanent bar from practicing in the securities industry as such lack of cooperation violates FINRA’s Rule 8210 – requiring that no member or person shall fail to provide information or testimony or permit an inspection and copying of books, records, or accounts pursuant to the rule. FINRA typically accompanies a Rule 8210 violation with a Rule 2010 violation when individuals, according to FINRA, do not appear to observe high standards for commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.
Alejandro Ariel Torres Named in Four Customer Disputes
Prior to Torres’ permanent bar from FINRA, he was named in 4 customer disputes. On August 8, 2011, Torres settled a customer dispute for nearly $4,000 after a customer alleged that Torres misinformed a client regarding the purchase of a variable annuity that the customer never wanted.
Guiliano Law Group
If you have been the victim of securities fraud and you have a complaint, you should consult with an attorney. The practice of Nicholas J. Guiliano, Esq., and The Guiliano Law Group, P.C., is limited to the representation of investors in claims for fraud in connection with the sale of securities, the sale or recommendation of excessively risky or unsuitable securities, breach of fiduciary duty, and the failure to supervise. We accept representation on a contingent fee basis, meaning there is no cost unless we make a recovery for you, and there is never any charge for a consultation or an evaluation of your claim. For more information contact us at (877) SEC-ATTY.