FINRA Slams Anaheim's Centaurus Financial for Supervisory Failure, Allowing Broker Donnie Ingram to Hire His Own Supervisor

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Regulators filed a complaint against both Donnie Ingram and Centaurus Financial, alleging the Southern California-centered firm failed to supervise Ingram's unsuitable sales of non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) and business development companies (BDCs) despite the firm's attestation that it had placed Ingram under "heightened supervision." Investigators allege this "heightened supervision" plan really amounted to Ingram hiring his own supervisor, who in turn failed to adequately supervise Ingram, the person who made the hiring decision.

As such, FINRA alleges that Centaurus Financial failed to detect Ingram double-dipping in charging customers both commissions and advisory fees, which is an illegal business practice, in addition to other suitability concerns.

Given that settled complaints against Donnie Euguene Ingram (CRD #1416971) first appeared in 2012 when Ingram was registered with Investors Capital Corp, the fact that Centaurus Financial nonetheless hired Ingram in 2016 despite several settled disputes in the hundreds of thousands of dollars alleging suitability and investment losses related to alternate products such as the Inland Western REIT, Bluerock Residential Growth REIT (BRG), and MacKenzie Realty Capital (MAC), spurred FINRA to shine a spotlight of greater scrutiny onto Ingram's misconduct since joining Centaurus.

FINRA accused Ingram of lacking a reasonable basis to recommend unit investment trusts (UITs) and other alt investments to at least 80 customers, writing that Ingram unsuitably recommended investors purchase versions of the UITs that caused the customers to incur sales and other charges, such as commissions or advisory fees, that the customers could have easily avoided.

As for Centaurus Financial, FINRA alleges that Centaurus' "heightened plan of supervision" realistically amounted to an abject failure to review whether Ingram's UIT and alt investment recommendations were in any way suitable for his clients, much less whether the unsuitable transactions caused Ingram's customers to incur unnecessary and excessive fees.

Even more worrisome, FINRA alleges that Ingram hired a person to serve as Chief Compliance Officer, meaning that Ingram hired his own supervisor at an entity Ingram called "Ingram Advisory."

FINRA claims that the supervisor Ingram hired to supervise himself, in turn, failed to actually supervise Ingram by failing to conduct adequate suitability reviews of each transaction Ingram recommended.

If you invested with Centaurus Financial broker Donnie Ingram, Ingram Advisory, or with any Centaurus investment adviser whose unsuitable recommendations to purchase Bluerock REIT, MacKenzie Realty Capital, or other exorbitantly costly alt investments, resulted in excessive fees or other losses, 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.

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