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Ricky Bell Named in FINRA Complaint for Soliciting Customers Into Outside “Lending Program”

Ricky Eugene Bell, a former Fayetteville, North Carolina-based registered representative with Cape Fear Securities, Inc., was named a respondent in a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) complaint alleging that he solicited firm customers to invest in an outside “lending program.” Mr. Bell allegedly offered the investment opportunity to his “select customers and closest friends,” according to the FINRA complaint. The complaint alleges that Mr. Bell received a total of approximately $247,500 from customer investments and that he also borrowed approximately $19,650 from firm customers without permission or firm approval.

According to the FINRA complaint, Mr. Bell told customers that the “lending program,” referred to by Mr. Bell as HLT Investments, would use investor funds, which would be pooled together, to provide high-interest loans to small businesses. These high-interest loans would allegedly generate profits to the investors. FINRA’s complaint states that Mr. Bell allegedly made interest payments to the customers by writing checks which he then asked customers to refrain from cashing, and to consider them as collateral in case the lending program failed. To date, Mr. Bell has not returned any of the $247,500 of principal received from investors.

Stockbrokers, registered representatives, and other financial industry professionals have been known to engage in many types of fraudulent and unlawful behavior which are in violation of industry rules and procedures. In order to protect customers from broker misconduct, FINRA rules require brokerage firms to establish and implement a reasonable supervisory system. The implementation of the rules requires supervisors to monitor its employees to ensure compliance with federal and state securities laws, securities industry rules and regulations, as well as the brokerage firm’s own policies and procedures. If broker-dealers and their supervisors fail to establish and implement these protective measures, they may be held liable to account holders for losses flowing from the employees’ misconduct. As a result, account holders who have suffered losses stemming from a broker’s unsuitable recommendations and/or fraudulent misconduct can bring forth claims to recover damages against broker-dealers like Cape Fear Securities, which have a duty to supervise its employees in order to prevent these types of misconduct.

Have you suffered losses in your investment account due to your registered representative or stockbroker’s unlawful and unauthorized investment solicitation, or other misconduct? If so, call Robert Pearce at the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. for a free consultation. Mr. Pearce is accepting clients with valid claims against financial professionals for unsuitable recommendations, and/or other unauthorized and fraudulent misconduct.

The most important of investors’ rights is the right to be informed! This Investors’ Rights blog post is by the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., located in Boca Raton, Florida. For over , Attorney Pearce has tried, arbitrated, and mediated hundreds of disputes involving complex securities, commodities, and investment law issues. The lawyers at our law firm are devoted to protecting investors’ rights throughout the United States and internationally! Please post a comment, call (800) 732-2889, send Mr. Pearce an email at pearce@rwpearce.com, and/or visit our website at www.secatty.com for answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.