Two Chattanooga brokers investigated for securities fraud

Two Chattanooga brokers investigated for securities fraud

A release from the TDCI says James Hugh Brennan III and Douglas Albert Dyer, co-owners operating Chattanooga-based Broad Street Ventures, LLC., allegedly raised more than $5 million from investors without using the money as promised.

By WTVC – newschannel9.com

Two former brokers with disciplinary histories from Chattanooga are under investigation for securities fraud by the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI) and the FBI.

The investigation, started by the TDCI, ultimately led to a recent court-ordered asset freeze in order to stop the fraud.

A release from the TDCI says James Hugh Brennan III and Douglas Albert Dyer, co-owners operating Chattanooga-based Broad Street Ventures, LLC., allegedly raised more than $5 million from investors without using the money as promised.

The TDCI says on February 22nd, the Tennessee Securities Division filed a cease-and-desist order against Broad Street, Brennan, and Dyer, alleging that that they had sold unregistered securities, were not registered to sell securities in Tennessee, and had engaged in fraud by failing to disclose the existence of a desist-and-refrain order previously issued in California.

The SEC issued an asset freeze on July 22nd.

The Division’s initial order became final on August 12th. The Tennessee Securities Division referred the case to the SEC and the FBI for further action.

“This is another good example of teamwork that helps protecting Tennessee investors,” said TDCI Assistant Commissioner for Securities Frank Borger-Gilligan. “Our team works in conjunction with agencies like the SEC and FBI on a regular basis to investigate and expose financial predators.”

In an emergency action filed in federal court in Chattanooga on July 22nd, the SEC alleges that Brennan and Dyer sold purported shares in eight similarly named companies to more than 240 investors since 2008 without ever registering the stock as they promised. Instead, according to the SEC’s complaint, Brennan and Dyer transferred investor funds into their personal accounts or those belonging to their wives. The SEC further alleges that Brennan and Dyer continue to solicit investors while touting their securities industry experience and failing to disclose that Brennan was banned from the brokerage industry and Dyer suspended and fined for executing unauthorized transactions in customers’ accounts.

“We allege that Brennan and Dyer have been telling investors the same lies for several years without fulfilling any of the promises they’ve made, and the court’s temporary restraining order stops them from soliciting any more investors and freezes their assets as we pursue litigation,” said Walter Jospin, Director of the SEC’s Atlanta Regional Office.

The SEC encourages investors to check the backgrounds of investment professionals before investing their money. A quick search on the SEC’sinvestor.gov website would have shown that neither Brennan nor Dyer has been registered to sell investments as a broker since the late 1990s, as well as their disciplinary problems with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and state regulators.

The SEC’s complaint alleges that Brennan, Dyer, and their company Broad Street Ventures have violated Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 as well as Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5. The SEC seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus interest and penalties as well as permanent injunctions. The SEC also seeks penny stock and officer-and-director bars against Brennan and Dyer.

The court’s order issued last week freezes the assets of Broad Street, Brennan, and Dyer. Their spouses are named as relief defendants in the SEC’s complaint for the purposes of recovering ill-gotten gains deposited in their accounts.

A hearing date is pending later this month.

Source: WTVC – newschannel9.com

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The team of investment fraud lawyers at Starr Austen & Miller LLP fights for the protection of investors and handles cases involving securities arbitration misrepresentation, overconcentration, broker fraud, negligence and breach of trust.