FINRA barred ex-Independent Financial Group (San Diego) broker Martin David Batstone for using $11,100 of customer funds for personal use after telling his customers that their funds would be invested in a brand management and product placement service company.
According to Order #2019061205201, Martin Batstone (CRD #2171601) solicited investments of at least $75,000 in the purported marketing/brand management company and subsequently deposited his customers' investments into a company checking account he controlled.
FINRA's order found Batstone violated industry rules regarding fraud, conversion, and participating in private securities transactions.
Of the customers' combined $75,000 investment amount, Batstone purportedly transferred a total of $29,100 from the company account to his personal account, using at least $11,100 of that amount for personal expenditures without the customers' knowledge or authorization.
Regulators first accused Marty Batstone of fraud and converting customers' private securities funds for personal use in 2019, writing that Batstone told clients their investments would be used in connection with an energy drink business, while instead transferring more than $11,000 of customer funds to his personal bank account, for personal use.
After leaving IFG in April 2017, Batstone joined Crown Capital Securities (San Diego, CA), remaining with that firm until 2018. Batstone then joined Newbridge Securities Corporation, also of San Diego, California, until that registration terminated in 2019. A customer dispute settled for $55,000 in 2015 alleged that Batstone failed to affirm a client's beneficiary designations in writing contrary to his client's instructions.
FINRA previously fined and suspended Batstone in 2010 for participating in another registered representative's equity-indexed annuities sale in which Batstone was not an appointed agent.
If you have invested with former Independent Financial Group rep Martin Batstone of Southern California or with any broker or financial adviser who misappropriated or converted your money for unauthorized use after falsely representing that the funds would be used for other investments, resulting in losses or other damages, 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.