Publicly available records published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on June 11, 2019 indicate that former California-based brokerage firm Accelerated Capital Group has received two regulatory sanctions. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Accelerated Capital Group (CRD# 41270).
Established in California in 1996, Accelerated Capital Group was also known as Mark Stewart Securities and Trademark Investments. Formerly organized as a corporation, its registration status was terminated in December 2018 and it is currently not registered with any state or firm. According to its BrokerCheck report, it has received two regulatory actions.
In 2017 FINRA sanctioned Accelerated Capital Group in connection to allegations it failed in its duty to establish and maintain a supervisory system adequate to identify trading activity that was unauthorized, excessive, or unsuitable in client accounts. According to FINRA’s complaint, the firm’s supervisory protocols did not effectively ensure that customers fully understood investment recommendations made by firm representatives, with respect to such factors as fees, breakpoints, and commissions taken by the broker. The complaint alleged that the firm’s supervisory system failed specifically with respect to mutual funds, in that they did not take steps to affirm customer understanding of factors like the differing fees among mutual fund products, namely the differences between mutual fund classes: because Class A mutual funds were associated with front-loaded sales fees, they were often unsuitable for customers seeking short-term investments, and FINRA stated that the firm’s mutual fund exchange form “did not disclose fees and did not have to be acknowledged by customers.” According to FINRA, the firm also failed to use “useful exception reports” to detect trading activity that may have been problematic; in lieu of such forms, the firm relied on manual trading reviews by its chief compliance officer, “which failed to identify questionable patterns,” including excessive turnover or high cost-to-equity ratios. FINRA’s findings also stated that the Chief Compliance Officer’s reviews did not detect whether a representative was executing unauthorized churning or account “twisting,” though such activity would have been detected by exception reports. According to FINRA, this representative’s customers thus experienced losses and improper sales loads exceeding $900,000 due to the firm’s failure to supervise the representative’s conduct. In connection with these findings, the firm was censured, issued a fine of $400,000, and ordered to pay more than $420,000 in restitution to affected customers.
In 2014 FINRA sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations its web page featured misleading information, such as falsified testimonials, and a graphic that erroneously indicated it had offices across the globe. FINRA’s findings also stated that two firm representatives had “business-related websites” with promissory statements that were false, misleading, and/or exaggerated. Firm representatives allegedly distributed unbalanced power point slides to investors, according to FINRA, which did not give investors “a sound bases” to examine the investments in question and determine whether they were suitable for the customer. These slides also allegedly “violated the proscriptions against exaggerated performance predictions,” according to FINRA, which also stated that the firm was involved in a contingency offering for which it did not ensure investors funds were “deposited into a properly designated escrow account at a bank.” In connection with these and other findings, the firm was censured and issued a fine of $32,500.
If you or someone you know has lost money investing with Accelerated Capital Group, call Fitapelli Kurta at 877-238-4175 for a free consultation. You may be eligible to recoup your losses. Fitapelli Kurta accepts all cases on a contingency basis: we only get paid if and when you collect money. Time to file your claim may be limited, so we encourage you to avoid delay. Call 877-238-4175 now to speak to an attorney for free.