Investors Sues Legacy Asset Securities For Stockbroker Ponzi Scheme
William Andrew Hightower of Houston Texas a stockbroker formerly registered with Legacy Asset Securities Inc. is referenced in a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim where the customer sought unspecified damages supported by accusations that (1) the customer’s account had been liquidated by Hightower without the customer’s authorization and (2) funds were improperly used to purchase private securities in a company owned by Hightower. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Arbitration No. 19-00992 (Apr. 12, 2019).
FINRA Public Disclosure confirms that Hightower has been identified in six additional customer initiated investment related disputes that concern allegations of his violative conduct while employed with securities broker dealers including UBS Financial Services and Legacy Asset Securities. Specifically, a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim involving Hightower’s activities was resolved for $150,000.00 in damages founded on accusations that unfounded statements and omissions had been made concerning the private placements that were recommended by Hightower; and Hightower advised the customer to invest in speculative and illiquid investments which failed to be suitable for the customer. FINRA Arbitration No. 15-03387 (May 8, 2018).
Another customer filed an investment related arbitration claim involving Hightower’s activities in which the customer requested $500,000.00 in damages based upon allegations that the customer had been induced into purchasing an alternative investment through misleading statements from Hightower; principal protected note and annuity purchases were inappropriate; the customer’s funds that had been used for some of those purchases was exposed to a Ponzi scheme; and the customer’s assets were stolen by Hightower. FINRA Arbitration No. 18-03141 (Sept. 7, 2018).
Hightower is also the subject of a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim where the customer sought $500,000.00 in damages supported by accusations that the customer’s private security transactions had been negligently handled; fiduciary obligations were violated; misrepresentations were made concerning investments; and the customer became victim to a Ponzi scheme. FINRA Arbitration No. 18-03370 (Sept. 26, 2018).
Also, a customer filed an investment related arbitration claim concerning Hightower’s conduct in which the customer requested as much as $500,000.00 in damages founded on allegations that Hightower lacked an adequate foundation to conclude that the private investments he recommended were suitable for the customer; false or misleading statements and omissions were made in regard to the private investment held between 2011 and 2017; and the customer had only been recommended the investments by Hightower so that Hightower could steal the customer’s funds. FINRA Arbitration No. 18-04180 (Dec. 10, 2018).
An additional customer filed an investment related civil action in the Harris County, Texas District Court that involved Hightower’s activities where the customer sought $1,000,000.00 in damages based upon accusations that when Hightower worked for UBS and Legacy, the customer had been provided bad advice concerning private annuity products and investments in a company controlled by Hightower; and Hightower executed an unauthorized liquidation of the customer’s funds to transfer funds to Hightower’s company. Civil Action No. 2018-74033 (Mar. 13, 2019).
Hightower has been barred from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity supported by allegations of him obstructing a FINRA investigation into accusations of his solicitation of customers’ investments away from the securities broker dealer. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2014042558101 (Oct. 7, 2015). According to the AWC, Hightower was asked at least twice to fully comply with FINRA’s requests which concerned Hightower allegedly referring private securities transactions to customers. Hightower’s legal counsel informed FINRA that Hightower would not cooperate. FINRA found Hightower’s conduct violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210.