The Texas State Securities Board has sanctioned two Dallas-area investment adviser representatives for selling unsuitable investments to clients.
The regulators said that Mark A. Trewitt was suspended for 90 days for selling unsuitable investments to clients, including one couple who invested half of their liquid assets in an Oregon-based private fund that collapsed in 2016.
Trewitt is an investment adviser representative for Delta Investment Management LLC of Plano, and purportedly sold the unsuitable investments while employed at VFG Advisors Inc.
Trewitt’s clients invested $173,306 in the fund, which was one of the investment vehicles managed by Aequitas Management. The regulators said that investors nationwide approximately $600 million in the Aequitas fund.
Trewitt also recommended that two other clients, a husband and wife in their 70s who had stated a preference for moderate risk in their portfolio, invest $275,000 in high-risk, illiquid private placement investments, non-traded real estate investment trusts, and business development companies. The couple’s investment accounted for 40 percent of their liquid assets.
In a second disciplinary order, the Texas regulators ordered Clair Crossland of Dallas to repay $88,933 to clients who purchased stream-of-income investments tied to the payouts from pensions. The payment is double the amount of commission Crossland earned from the sales.
Crossland is president of LFA IRA LLC, a Dallas investment advisory firm, and did not understand the complexities of stream-of-income investments and the risks they posed to his clients, the regulators noted.
At the time Crossland sold the investments to his clients, state and federal regulators had issued warnings about the risks of the transactions – including the fact that some transactions may be illegal under federal law – and sanctioned several companies selling investments based on pension-income streams.