Banned Broker Ordered to Pay $4 Million Penalty
The SEC has banned Dawn J. Bennett, founder of Bennett Financial Group in Washington, DC, for using false performance documents to obtain wealthy clients. She is ordered to pay more than $4 million in fines and disgorgement. A civil penalty of $600,000 and a $2.9 million fine were handed down by Administrative Law Judge James Grimes. Morvillo LLP, the attorneys who represent Ms. Bennett stated she has no comment at this time regarding the ruling. Morvillo LLP has 21 days to appeal Grimes’s 48 page ruling. Bennett refused to attend this function as part of “unorthodox legal strategy.” The ruling focused on Bennett’s pattern of promoting fictitious assets as a means to secure high-ranking advisers.
Harsh Penalty for Bennett Sets a Good Precedent
According to chief executive of Freedman Financial Marc Freedman, “Ms. Bennett is quickly becoming the poster child for advisers who choose to use media to generate business. This industry needs to be cleaned up more and hold financial planners to a higher standard.” Freedman, who also is the host of a radio talk show said this whole Bennett situation is the reality of what is happening in today’s financial world. It’s been proven that from 2009 through 2011, the Bennett group claimed to manage between $1.1 and $2 billion, when in actuality the firm never managed more than $407 million during that time frame. Judge Grimes stated, “Her numerous false statements regarding AUM and portfolio performance to attract new customers and retain existing ones caused investors to falsely place their trust in her and resulted in large losses.”
Starr Austen Can Protect You
It’s a shame some people in this world will take advantage of you whenever they can. Let Starr Austen help protect you from bad brokers such as Dawn J. Bennett. Our team of investment fraud lawyers have experience in representing clients who have purchased unsuitable annuities and will fight for the protection of investors and handle cases involving unsuitability, securities arbitration, misrepresentation, overconcentration, broker fraud, negligence and breach of trust.