After a FINRA OHO hearing panel barred Amerprise Financial Services broker Jim Jinkook Seol (CRD #2876279) of the firm's Irvine, CA branch for selling away from the firm by soliciting $100 million in immigration EB-5 investments in the outside business activities Western Regional Center Incorporated (WRCI), NextEra Energy Capital Holdings, and Genesis Solar Energy Project, Seol appealed to the National Adjudicatory Council for reconsideration of OHO's "egregious" misconduct finding.
After consideration of the appeal, the NAC released Decision #2014039839101, upholding stockbroker Jim Seol's banishment from the securities industry for the undisclosed private securities transactions and undisclosed outside business activities. The NAC also found that Seol provided false statements on Ameriprise compliance questionnaires.
According to NAC, Seol solicited investments in California Energy Investment Fund 1, LP, which Seol formed to serve as a qualifying investment under the US immigration employment's EB-5 program, selling $100 million in interests to at least 200 investors through loans and promissory notes. Seol also traveled to South Korea and China to market investments in the California Energy Investment Fund to foreign migration companies and attorneys, FINRA wrote.
The report states that Seol's WRCI consulted with YL Partners to solicit foreign nationals to develop and operate 10 Yogurtland frozen yogurt stores in the United States.
FINRA's initial complaint alleged that Seol "intentionally and deceptively concealed WRCI" from Amerprise through false statements and charged excessive management fees to WRCI investors that far exceeded WRCI's costs. OHO and NAC findings reflected FINRA's charge, noting that the excessive WRCI management fee "in all likelihood" would overshadow the annual interest investors could hope to receive from their investments.
Seol's BrokerCheck report lists an existing settled customer dispute, in which Amerprise paid $500,000 to a customer who alleged that Ameriprise and its advisors recommended high-risk mutual funds and a life insurance policy that she did not need. Amerprise discharged stock broker Seol in 2014 for violation of the firm's outside business activity policy.
If you have invested with former Amerprise SoCal broker Jim Jinkook Seol of Lake Forest in WRCI or California Energy Investment Fund or with any representative or financial adviser who solicited a private securities transaction away from the firm without adequate disclosure or this outside business activity, which as proven harmful to your investments or interests, please call our experienced FINRA arbitration attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.