The Securities and Exchange Commission has barred former LPL Financial broker Todd Esh, who was named in a civil suit filed by the regulators in April 2020, along with his business partner Phil Hudnall. In the lawsuit, the SEC alleged that Esh made material misrepresentations and omissions to investors in connection with a securities offering.
According to the SEC’s original complaint, Hudnall, with the help of Esh, raised more than $3.6 million between February and June 2019 by selling promissory notes to 12 investors in a securities offering they conducted through BirdDog Business Group LLC and BirdDog Oil Equipment LLC, entities they founded and controlled.
The SEC claims that Hudnall and Esh told investors that the funds would be used to buy and refurbish used oil and gas equipment for resale at a profit, promising returns of 30 percent after nine months.
An attorney for Esh said that he was misled into thinking the deal was legitimate, according to a recent news report by The Kansas City Star.
However, the SEC alleged the BirdDog entities had never completed any oil-and-gas equipment transactions, and Hudnall misappropriated the majority of the investors’ funds to purchase land and mineral rights in Colorado, make Ponzi-type payments to investors in other offerings, and for personal use.
On May 20, 2020, a judgment was entered by consent against Esh in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, permanently enjoining him from future violations.
Esh was affiliated with LPL Financial from March 2018 to July 2019. Before LPL, he spent two years with Park Avenue Securities, seven years with Waddell & Reed, four years with UBS Financial, and five years with Morgan Stanley.