Regulators Sanctions Cetera Stockbroker For Selling Away

Ken Alan Balser of Colorado Springs Colorado a stockbroker formerly employed by Cetera Advisors LLC is referenced in a Colorado Division of Securities Stipulation and Consent Order which revoked Balser’s sales representative licensure and investment adviser license based upon the Division’s findings that Balser sold investments to customers away from Cetera Advisors LLC. Case No. CDS 2017-0003 (Jan. 20, 2017).

According to the Order, seventeen customers were solicited by Balser to make purchases in a gold mine, Tesoro Del Alma, Inc. Apparently, from August of 2014 and March of 2016, a total of $1,491,600.00 worth of the Tesoro Del Alma, Inc. investments had been purchased by the customers. Investors have apparently not received any returns from their Tesoro Del Alma, Inc. investments.

The Colorado Division of Securities stated that Balser failed to inform Cetera Advisors LLC that he advised investors, some including customers of Cetera Advisors LLC, to effect the Tesoro Del Alma Inc. investment purchases. Moreover, the Division stated that Balser did not receive any permission from Cetera Advisors LLC to effect the securities transactions outside its auspices.

This is not the first time Balser has been subject of a disciplinary action from a securities regulator for engaging in misconduct in the securities industry. In particular, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) barred Balser from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity based upon findings that Balser failed to cooperate with a FINRA’s investigation into Balser’s purported private securities transactions. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 20160507270-01 (Dec. 19, 2016). According to the AWC, Balser neglected to provide information and documentation to FINRA by a November 21, 2016 deadline. Evidently, after Balser was granted additional time to cooperate with the regulator, Balser confirmed that he would at no point be providing information or testifying about the allegations of him selling away from Cetera. FINRA found Balser’s conduct violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210.

FINRA Public Disclosure additionally reveals that Balser is referenced in a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim in which the customer requested $250,000.00 in damages founded on accusations that the customer’s account was mishandled; fiduciary and contractual duties owed to the customer had been breached; one or more investments sold to the customer were not suitable; transactions ran afoul of Colorado Securities Act and Colorado Consumer Protection Act; and the customer had been defrauded with regard to a private placement investment sold to the customer while Balser was associated with Cetera Advisors LLC. FINRA Arbitration No. 18-03400 (Oct. 9, 2018).

Balser was discharged by Cetera Advisors LLC on July 18, 2016 based upon allegations that Balser violated the policies of the firm by engaging in private securities transactions concerning production purchase contracts.