Securities regulators in Massachusetts charged Securities America and advisor Barry Graham Armstrong with running a "grossly deceptive" radio campaign targeted at vulnerable senior citizens. Armstrong is specifically charged with engaging in a dishonest and misleading advertising campaign while brokerage Securities America is charged with participating in and failing to supervise Armstrong in conducting said dishonest and misleading campaign.
Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin wrote that Armstrong "ran a grossly deceptive AM radio advertising campaign targeted at vulnerable Massachusetts senior citizens," explaining that the radio ads "implied that the agent [Armstrong] is an individual with access to special medical and support information...He is neither."
According to the state's complaint against Armstrong, the misleading advertisements appeared alongside an AM radio show he hosts called "The Financial Exchange," backed by the Armstrong Advisory Group whose annual advertising budget is at least $300,000. Armstrong, who regulators said both writes and voices the Group's radio advertisements, also trained and employs a telemarketing and call center service that not only takes calls resulting from the radio advertisement, but also allegedly collects caller information for telemarketing purposes.
The Securities Division wrote that Armstrong ran a misleading radio advertisement campaign called "Alzheimer's Campaign," which was targeted at senior citizens, and accused Armstrong and Securities America Advisors with attempting to solicit or obtain clients by misleading investors.
Regulators also charged Securities America with failing to supervise its employee (Armstrong) to ensure compliance with relevant Securities Acts and laws.
Armstrong's FINRA BrokerCheck report reveals several previous disclosures, including settled disputes alleging damages from misrepresentation, failure to disclose relevant information, and unsuitable recommendations. In 2003, employer 1717 Capital Management Company discharged Armstrong for violating company procedures and a failure to supervise related to his radio show.
Armstrong has long been involved with radio—the report also states that in 1980, Armstrong was arrested and charged with grand larceny for stealing a radio in New York.
Securities America, Inc. is a subsidiary of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc., with headuarters in Nevada.
If you have invested with radio host Barry Graham Armstrong, Securities America, or with any financial advisor, firm, or broker whose misleading attempts to solicit investments or similar business has proven harmful to your financial interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for investigation and consultation.