Calling All Cops, and DROPS, Pennsylvania Gets Dutton
On July 11, 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities announced that it has fined Newbridge Securities Corporation $499,000 for failure to supervise.
The order does not specify the products or the number of affected Pennsylvania investors. It also does not identify the broker who made the problematic sales.
The BrokerCheck report for Newbridge indicates that it has 33 disclosure events since 20,000 when it became registered with the NASD, FINRA’s predecessor agency.
The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities Consent Order just says: “Newbridge failed to reasonably supervise one agent in connection with his sales of structured products to certain of his clients in Pennsylvania, which acts and conduct form a basis to deny, suspend, revoke, or condition the registration of Newbridge or to censure Newbridge pursuant to Section 305(a)(vii) ofthe 1972 Act, 70 P .S. 1-305(a)(vii).
Philly.com Business Writer, Joseph N. DiStefano, tells us that the “one agent” is Austin Dutton. We did a little research of our own, and remarkably on July 24, 2017, about two weeks after the $499,000 Newbridge settlement, an Austin Richard Dutton, Jr., doing business as Bridge Valley Financial Services, LLC of 171 South Main Street, Doylestown, Pennsylvania 18901 was also fined, or entered into a Consent Order to pay $200,000 (on the installment plan $8.333 per month for 24 months), based upon the finding that Dutton engaged in dishonest or unethical practices in the securities business by recommending to a customer the purchase, sale, or exchange of a security without reasonable grounds to believe that the transaction or recommendation was suitable for the customer based upon reasonable inquiry concerning the customer’s investment objectives, financial situation and needs and other relevant information known by the agent, which acts and conduct form a basis to deny, suspend, revoke, or condition the registration of Dutton or to censure Dutton pursuant to Section 305(a)(ix) of the 1972 Act, 70 P.S. 1-30S(a)(ix), and Regulation 30S.019(c)(2)(vi), 10 Pa. Code 30S.019(c)(2)(vi), promulgated thereunder.”
As stated in the Consent Order, Dutton has been registered with Newbridge since 2007.
According to Dutton’s website “Austin has vast industry experience having worked at several of top firms in the financial services sector.”
FINRA Public Disclosure shows Dutton was fired from Prudential after less than two years in 1997. Public Disclosure also reveals that Dutton has also been subject to a couple of customer complaints.
Mr. DiStefano seems to think that because “Dutton’s practice has included the sale of real estate-backed securities issued by firms controlled by Nicholas Schorsch, son of a Jenkintown scrap-metal dealer” these claims may be linked to American Realty Capital Partners, one of Schorsch’s REIT’s where they admitted they had made a false filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission and since pleaded guilty to securities fraud.
Real Estate Investment Trusts, however, are not Structured Products.
None the less it is interesting to note that Mr. Dutton does seem to offer special services to the Fraternal Order of Police, and offers to:
FOP Lodge 5 members can plan for a more secure future by taking advantage of several attractive investment and benefit opportunities available through Lodge 5 membership.
I will help you and your family create a custom exit strategy. I will help you prepare for retirement. I will help you identify your liabilities and work with you to reduce them so that your Total Net Worth is able to grow debt-free.
Portfolio Evaluation / Personal Retirement Planning Advice
FOP members can receive a portfolio evaluation or retirement planning evaluation through Bridge Valley Financial Services, free of charge in my office. Only if you decide to continue to utilize our services will you be charged a fee.
Deferred Comp Updates
All Lodge members are eligible for E-mail updates on the Mutual Funds that are available for investment in The City of Philadelphia’s Deferred Comp Plan.
Mr. Dutton also proclaims to assist Philadelphia former employees with their DROP – the Deferred Retirement Option Program of the City of Philadelphia Retirement System Pension Plan. For these individuals, Austin Dutton is an experienced Financial Advisor who is able to present a clear picture of your options and make recommendations tailored to your needs.
So if you are a Cop with a Drop, Austin Dutton is your man with the plan.
If you lost money as the result of your investments with Dutton, particularly “structured investments,” you might want to consult with counsel.
Our investment fraud lawyers and FINRA Arbitration Lawyers are limited to the representation of investors’ claims. We accept representation on a contingent fee basis, meaning there is no cost to you unless we make a recovery for you. There is never any charge for a consultation or an evaluation of your claim.