FINRA suspended former Wallstreet E broker Christian Joel Brand for approaching and soliciting a $510,000 investment from an elderly customer suffering from dementia.
According to FINRA, Brand approached the Wallstreet E customer—his grandmother—about a predevelopment condominium project located in Cozumel, Mexico, seeking investment funds for pre-developmental costs associated with the project.
The finding states that at the time of the investment, the 91-year-old grandmother suffered from dementia and had suffered from dementia for the past two years; nonetheless, Brand allegedly solicited her investment and she agreed to invest in the project, allowing direct fund transfers from her Wallstreet E brokerage account into her checking account.
From there, ten checks totaling $510,000 were made payable to entities Brand owned, Whitney Distinctive Properties, LLC and Destination Development, LLC. Brand allegedly assisted his grandmother in the preparation of some of the checks using his own handwriting.
Though Brand allegedly issued a document containing an overview of the offering, including expected yield—an 8% annualized rate of return—when the project failed due to an unfunded initial construction loan, Brand's client did not receive any of her investment principal back nor any interest associated with the project.
Brand allegedly failed to notify Wallstreet E about the proposed transactions and engaged in the securities transactions outside of his employment with the firm. This type of broker misconduct - selling securities away from the employing firm - is known as "selling away."
According to the findings, Brand solicited and received funding for the doomed project from several investors in addition to his grandmother.
If you have invested with Christian Joel Brand or with any broker or financial professional who has solicited or recommended funding a project, offering or opportunity away from his or her brokerage firm, and such extracurricular involvement has proven harmful to your investments or interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.