FINRA accused Martin David Batstone, a former broker with Independent Financial Group (IFG) in San Diego, of fraudulent conduct in converting funds from IFG customers for personal use instead of for investments as represented to the client, and for failing to inform IFG of his solicitation of investments for an outside company, which constituted private securities transactions. The report indicates one of Batstone's purportedly targeted investors was a senior citizen.
Marty Batstone, who worked at Crown Capital Securities and Newbridge Securities Corporation (also of San Diego, California) after his 2017 separation from IFG, purportedly solicited two IFG customers to invest $75,000 in a small limited liability company that purported to be a brand management firm for athletes and entertainers, according to Complaint #2019061205201.
The complaint states that ex-IFG stockbroker Batstone (CRD #2171601) informed his customers that their investments would be used by the company for operating expenses and marketing/distribution of an energy drink, but contrary to those representations, transferred over $11,000 of the clients' funds to his personal bank account and used the funds for personal expenses.
Furthermore, Batstone purportedly never informed IFG of his participation in soliciting investments in the outside company, leading FINRA to add a charge of participation in illicit private securities transactions.
Batstone's file lists two settled disputes—including one involving a REIT and annuity that lost money—while FINRA previously fined and suspended Batstone in 2010 for participating in the sale of equity-indexed annuities issued by companies with which Batstone was not an appointed agent and did not having selling agreements/approval. Batstone was associated with Ameriprise Financial Services (also San Diego, CA) at the time of the purported misconduct.
FINRA'S complaint and allegations remain pending and unproven at the time of this writing.
If you have invested with former IFG broker Martin Batstone (aka Marty Batstone) or with any representative or financial adviser who has solicited investments in an outside business that the broker failed to disclose to the firm, or who has engaged in fraud or conversion by depositing funds in a personal bank account for unauthorized use, 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.