Investors Sue Cetera Advisors For Negligence
Kenneth Alan Balser of Colorado Springs Colorado a stockbroker formerly employed by Cetera Advisors LLC has been identified in a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim where the customer sought $103,664.82 in damages founded on accusations that (1) the stockbroker’s negligence resulted in the customer’s losses (2) a fiduciary duty was breached by Balser (3) private placement transactions were effected in violation of Colorado securities laws and (4) the customer was defrauded because of Balser’s activities while employed by Cetera Advisors. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Arbitration No. 19-02338 (Oct. 23, 2019).
This is not the first time that Balser has been referenced in a customer initiated investment related dispute. FINRA Public Disclosure indicates that Balser is referenced in a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim in which the customer requested $250,000.00 in damages supported by allegations including violations of Colorado Securities Act and Wyoming Securities Act as well as Colorado Consumer Protection Act in reference to a private placement. FINRA Arbitration No. 18-03400 (Oct. 9, 2018). According to the claim, a fiduciary duty had been breached by the stockbroker. The claim also alleges that contractual obligations were not complied with. Transactions facilitated by Balser allegedly failed to be suitable for the Cetera Advisors customer.
On June 13, 2019, another customer filed an investment related arbitration claim in reference to Balser’s conduct where the customer sought $140,910.00 in damages based upon accusations that transactions ran afoul of federal securities laws and the securities laws of South Carolina and Colorado. FINRA Arbitration No. 19-01351 (June 13, 2019). The claim alleges gross negligence and fraud in regard to a gold mine investment effected by Balser while registered with Cetera Advisors. According to the claim, there was a breach of both a fiduciary duty and a contract by Balser in reference to the investment.
FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that Balser has been barred from associating with any member in any capacity based upon findings that the stockbroker neglected to provide recorded testimony before FINRA personnel during the period that he was being investigated for selling away from Cetera Advisors. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2016050727001 (Dec. 19, 2016). According to the AWC, FINRA also requested documentation and information from the stockbroker but to no avail. The regulator received an e-mail from Balser which indicated that he received its request but would at no point testify as to the allegations of his private securities transactions. FINRA determined that the stockbroker’s conduct was violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210.
On February 2, 2017, Balser was stripped of his sales representative license and his investment adviser license by the Colorado Division of Securities founded on accusations that the stockbroker engaged in an outside business activity which he failed to disclose to Cetera Advisors and that his securities transactions were executed without the securities broker dealer’s permission. Stipulation and Consent Order No. CDS 2017-0003.
According to Colorado Division of Securities, seventeen customers were solicited by Balser and had been sold $1,491,600 investments in Tesoro Del Alma Inc. between August of 2014 and March of 2016 without the stockbroker procuring permission from Cetera Advisors. Customers have allegedly not been provided a return of their investments.
On July 18, 2016, Balser was discharged by Cetera Advisors supported by allegations that he failed to comply with the securities broker dealer’s policy by engaging in private securities transactions including production purchase contracts.