The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Richard G. Duncan, a longtime investment adviser and broker who first became registered in 1971, with defrauding two retail investors by persuading them to invest more than $300,000 in an apparent scam originating in Turkey.
From late 2016 until the fall of 2018, the SEC claims that Duncan solicited funds from the investors to send oversees. He purtportedly told his clients and various third parties that a woman living in Turkey, who he sometimes referred to as his girlfriend or fiancée, expected to inherit as much as $6 million from her deceased father, which Duncan would be able to manage if he provided her money for legal expenses.
Duncan allegedly steered at least two elderly retail investors to “invest” in the apparent scam, promising returns of as much as 100 percent if they helped secure the release of the $6 million. One of his longtime clients provided approximately $250,000, while another put in $28,100.
The money was sent to several people in Turkey and the United States who were supposedly helping the woman. Duncan’s clients have not received any of the promised returns on their investment.
According to the SEC’s complaint, Duncan violated his fiduciary duty as an investment adviser by ignoring and failing to disclose warnings from two banks that the Turkish investment opportunity was likely a scam, and he allegedly made materially false and misleading statements by promising the 100 percent return.
In March 2019, Duncan was terminated from Ausdal Financial Partners for “failing to follow firm policies and procedures regarding loans with clients and lack of timely notification of a break-in at his branch office.”
His registration with the firm was advisory only, and according to his investment adviser representative public disclosure report, his termination was related to “a client loan and private investment in Turkey.”
Prior to Ausdal, Duncan was registered as an investment adviser representative with Bradway Financial for eight years and with LPL Financial for three years.
In addition, according to his BrokerCheck profile, he was a registered representative with LPL for 20 years from 1989 until 2009. Duncan passed his Series 1 registered representative exam in 1975, and also held Series, 4, 24, 63, and 65 designations.
The SEC seeks permanent injunctions, civil penalties, and disgorgement plus prejudgment interest.