Austin Dutton's Unsuitable REIT Recommendations Harmed Customers, Says FINRA

Attorney Advising Disclaimer

FINRA filed a complaint against Austin Richard Dutton, Jr., charging the former Newbridge Securities broker with unsuitably recommending 10 customers purchase more than $1.2 in alternative investments, including speculative and risky non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) and business development companies (BDCs).

The findings state that Dutton generated more than $72,000 in commissions from these unsuitable recommendations and that none of Dutton's customers sought to make speculative, high-risk investments, such as by purchasing REITs and BDCs that Dutton subsequently recommended anyway.

Dutton allegedly circumvented Newbridge Securities' supervision by falsifying customer documents, inflating his customers' net worths to allow for excessive purchases (that ultimately resulted in overconcentration of risky alt investments in customer accounts).

Both Austin Dutton (d/b/a Bridge Valley Financial Services) and Newbridge Securities received six-figure fines in 2017 for unsuitable recommendations in REITs managed by American Realty Capital (ARC) aka AR Global, amongst other risky products. Dutton maintained at the time that his $200,000 fine has nothing to do with the REIT sales.

The ARC REIT sale allegations are of particular note, as ARC Properties ex-CFO Brian Block was convicted of securities fraud, also in 2017. Unsurprisingly, ARC REITs have been targeted in regulatory actions such as investigations and fines over the years.

If you invested with former Newbridge Securities broker Austin R Dutton or with any investment adviser or representative who has unsuitably recommended speculative high-risk investments, such as American Realty Capital Properties, that have proven harmful to your finances or interests 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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