Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has barred a former LPL Financial broker for allegedly converting client funds by depositing a personal check from an elderly customer into his own bank account, rather than using it to pay advisory account fees, as intended.
In June 2017, Bradley Everett Gardner allegedly accepted a $7,400 personal check from an elderly LPL customer, who believed she was pre-paying her advisory account fees. However, Gardner deposited the check into his personal bank account, and used the funds to pay for his personal expenses.
The elderly customer had four LPL accounts, three were advisory accounts and the fourth was commission-based. Gardner allegedly told the customer that she could pre-pay the fees associated with her advisory accounts at a discount by writing a check made payable to him, and that he would then “turn off’ the fees until March 2019.
After Gardner deposited the check into his bank account, LPL continued to charge the requisite fees as usual. When the alleged misconduct was discovered, Gardner reimbursed the $7,400 to the customer and voluntarily resigned.
Gardner entered the securities industry in 2001 and held FINRA Series 7, 63, 66, and 31 licenses. Prior to LPL, he was affiliated with Raymond James Financial Services, Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, and Edward Jones and had no prior disciplinary history in the securities industry.
Gardener agreed to the bar without admitting or denying the charges.