Mark David Holt (also known as Mark David Hothusen), of Northern Oaks, Minnesota, a stockbroker formerly registered with Harbour Investments, Inc., has been barred from working as an investment adviser representative or stockbroker or otherwise affiliating with investment advisers or brokerage firms according to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Order containing findings that Holt committed wire fraud. In the Matter of Mark David Holt, Administrative Proceeding No. 3-17685 (Apr. 13, 2017).

According to the Order, Holt pleaded guilty to wire fraud; conduct violative of 18 U.S.C. § 1343. United States v. Mark D. Holt, Crim. Information No. 14-CR-68 (D. Minn. Apr. 1, 2014) Holt was sentenced to ten years in prison, and ordered to provide restitution of $2,940,982.75 based on findings that from September of 2005 to January 12, 2014, customers were defrauded by Holt’s dissemination of e-mails containing false account statements. Holt evidently told customers that their funds would be utilized by him to make investments in mutual funds and bonds; however, their funds were instead misappropriated by Holt.

Customers funds were reportedly directed into a bank account that Holt controlled, where he utilized the funds to pay his business and personal debts. Holt purportedly tricked his customers into concluding that their funds were used to buy investments. The customers were apparently presented with fraudulent customer summaries by Holt’s use of a web-based portal, Blueleaf, where the summaries contained bogus account information. In addition, payments were reportedly made to customers under the guise of annuity or interest distributions.

Holt has been barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity based upon consenting to findings that he failed to provide FINRA staff with information about his business activities after it was requested by the regulator. Case No. 2013038983901 (Jan. 17, 2014). Apparently, Holt failed to request that his February 10, 2014 suspension be lifted, which automatically resulted in FINRA’s imposition of a permanent bar.

FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that Holt has been identified in five customer initiated investment related disputes pertaining to allegations of his wrongdoing while he was associated with Harbour Investments, LLC, Geneos Wealth Management, and Linsco Private Ledger Corp. In particular, a customer was awarded $497,189.18 in damages according to an investment related arbitration claim involving Holt’s conduct, based on findings including breach of contract, violation of federal and state securities statutes, violation of consumer fraud statutes, misrepresentation, conversion of customer funds, and breach of fiduciary duty in regard to funds Holt received from the customer for securities investments. FINRA Arbitration No. 14-00954 (July 1, 2015).

Thereafter, a customer filed an investment related civil action involving Holt’s improper conduct, in which the customer sought approximately $50,00.00 in damages based upon allegations that Holt, inter alia, defrauded the customer in regard to a variable annuity transaction. Civil Action No. 03-CV-16-2189 (Aug. 16, 2016).

Holt was then ordered to pay an award of $477,654.60 in damages in reference to a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim, based upon findings that Holt, inter alia, violated the Minnesota Consumer Protection Act, stole the customer’s funds, mismanaged the customer’s accounts, and made unsuitable investment recommendations regarding a Jackson Life annuity purchase. FINRA Arbitration No. 15-00680 (Sept. 8, 2017). Harbour Investments, LLC and Geneos Wealth Management were also found liable for failing to supervise Holt’s activities, enabling Holt to convert the customer’s funds.

Moreover, a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim involving Holt’s conduct was settled for $550,000.00 in damages based upon allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and the failure to supervise Holt’s variable annuity transactions. FINRA Arbitration No. 16-03582 (Mar. 31, 2017).

FINRA Public Disclosure confirms that Holt was fired by Linsco Private Ledger for utilizing signed but otherwise blank customer documents; and fired by Harbour Investments Inc. for effecting transactions with customers away from the firm.

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