The SEC barred former LPL Financial and Invest Financial Corporation broker James Thomas Booth for operating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded approximately 40 investors, including seniors planning for retirement, out of nearly $5 million in savings and funds, while a related complaint alleges Booth ran a $10 million fraud dating back to 1999. The Commission specifically prohibited Booth from participating in future penny stock offerings or transactions, with FINRA listing the sanction on its website as a "penny stock bar."
SEC file #3-19596 states that ex-LPL and Invest Financial stockbroker James Booth (CRD #1906145) misappropriated $4.9 million from about 40 investors from 2013 through 2019, making false or misleading statements to investors in the furtherance of the fraudulent scheme.
According to SEC documents, Booth told investors that their investments would be used to purchase securities, but instead of investing the funds as promised, Booth used the investors' assets to pay for personal and business expenses and payments to other investors.
Booth also allegedly fabricated elaborate account statements, some of which included fake securities and values, to mask the fraud, according to a related complaint filed in US District Court for the District of Connecticut.
Booth purportedly instructed investors to wire checks/funds to a bank account called "Insurance Trends Inc." In one instance, he advised an elderly widow to move the money she received from her late husband's pension into "Insurance Trends," promising to invest the funds, which totaled $600,000. Another transferred funds from an annuity to participate in what they thought was a safe investment, but instead was purportedly a massive fraud.
Another client who attempted to withdraw money from his investment was allegedly discouraged by Booth, who told him to wait until their next meeting...a meeting which never transpired.
Unlike the SEC's bar, the SEC's complaint filed in US District Court alleges the Ponzi scheme began in 1999, resulted in Booth defrauding customers out of $10 million ($3.9 million of which occurred between 2014 and 2019), and that Booth admitted to taking investor funds when probed by LPL and FINRA (LPL subsequently terminated Booth and FINRA barred him for conversion).
Within the sea of customer disputes in Booth's BrokerCheck report, LPL filed an employment separation after allegations disclosure, writing, "Independent contractor representative who joined the Firm in February 2018 admitted to course of conduct beginning while associated with previous member firms involving the misappropriation of multiple clients' funds for his personal and business use."
Booth's file also indicates a pending criminal charge for investment adviser fraud, securities fraud, and wire fraud. His detailed report lists other business activities of "Booth Financial Associates" and "John M Glover Agency."
If you have invested with former LPL Financial/Invest Financial broker James Thomas Booth or with any financial adviser or registered representative who has made false statements or otherwise misrepresented a securities product or how your funds would be invested - such as this fraudulent scheme in which Booth misappropriated funds from investors he allegedly told would be placed in safe or low-risk securities - and you have experienced losses or other harm to your investment portfolio, please call an experienced FINRA arbitration attorney at The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.