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Robert Kerrigan Investigated for Undisclosed USA Barcelona Outside Business Facing Fraud Charge, Barred for Refusal to Cooperate

FINRA barred Robert Joseph Kerrigan Sr., formerly of First Financial Equity Corporation (Scottsdale, Arizona) after he refused to cooperate with a FINRA investigation into violative private securities transactions and selling away from the firm through an outside business activity known as "USA Barcelona," a real estate company charged with securities fraud after failing to repay principal to several investors.

FINRA AWC #2015047151401

In August 2015, the Arizona Corporation Commission ("ACC") issued Kerrigan, and business partners Richard Harkins, George Simmons, Janet Simmons, and Bruce Orr a temporary order to cease and desist transactions in USA Barcelona Realty Advisors, LLC, and USA Barcelona Hotel Land Company I, LLC, both Arizona limited liability companies, due to the ACC's alleging that USA Barcelona's business practices violated the Arizona Securities Act, including a fraudulent plan of using new investors' funds to pay off an older note.

The ACC's Temporary Order to Cease and Desist states Harkins served as President of Barcelona Advisors, while Kerrigan, Simmons and Orr were Executive Members with voting responsibility.

Though FINRA's subsequent action barring Kerrigan states little about the misconduct other than Kerrigan's refusal and failure to cooperate with their investigation, the ACC document alleges that Barcelona Advisors sold promissory notes with a total offering of $1 million.

Key for Kerrigan is the ACC's allegation that he served as a primary financial adviser to multiple customers who purchased the USA Barcelona promissory notes, telling at least one of his investors, who was also a customer of his at FINRA-member First Financial Equity Corp, that the money would be "rolling in" from the offering, and the USA Barcelona outside business produced pamphlets and brochures to bolster that claim. Kerrigan also allegedly allowed another investor to pay with funds from a stock account that Kerrigan managed for him.

However, the ACC's allegations continue, the Barcelona private placement memorandum (PPM) failed to disclose that the chief land acquisition and investment company the notes were paying for—a company known as Arizona Village Communities Operating Company, Inc.—had failed, that three related companies owned by President Harkins had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and that the Arizona State Land Department had already cancelled the land acquisition because of nonpayment.

Instead, Barcelona Land Company allegedly misrepresented to customers that USA Barcelona Realty Holding Company had actually reached an agreement with a "major general contracting company" when no such agreement had been reached.

The Order to Cease and Desist goes on to implicate Kerrigan personally, stating that as President and sole shareholder of Personal Wealth Management Group, Inc. and Wealth Legacy Consultants, LLC, the PPM failed to disclose that National Bank of Arizona was awarded over $76,000 in judgements against Kerrigan for Kerrigan's 2010 failure to repay a line of credit debt.

The Order to Cease and Desist states that Barcelona Advisors issued a $70,000 promissory note to Kerrigan with the promise that, "principal and any earned and unpaid interest shall be paid from proceeds received by [Barcelona Advisors] from new investors" in a later offering. The ACC states that Barcelona subsequently planned to use proceeds from later offerings to make interest payments to existing investors who bought in earlier.

According to the documents, the majority of the Barcelona investors have not been repaid or refunded their principal investments.

If you have invested with Robert Joseph Kerrigan in USA Barcelona or Kerrigan's Personal Wealth Management Group/Wealth Legacy Consultants, or with any broker or financial advisor whose illicit and fraudulent sales or Ponzi practices have 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.

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