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Investment advisor barred, fined by SEC for deceiving clients

On Behalf of | Nov 2, 2022 | Financial Advisor Misconduct

A California-based investment advisor and his company have been charged with engaging in practices that deceived and defrauded hundreds of their clients, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced.

The SEC obtained a final judgment against Keith Springer and Springer Investment Management, Inc. (doing business as Springer Financial Advisors) (SFA). The allegations against Springer were detailed in a complaint filed by the commission in federal court in Sacramento.

Springer and SFA were accused of deceptive practices when soliciting new clients, most of whom were retirees or people nearing retirement. According to the SEC, the defendants falsely claimed they did not receive any incentives to recommend certain investments when they actually did receive compensation for recommending particular products.

Springer and SFA were also accused of breaching their fiduciary duty because they failed to disclose these arrangements and the resulting conflicts of interest. The complaint alleges that they filed false reports with the SEC as well as failing to have an adequate compliance program and required books and records.

The advisor and the firm consented to the entry of the SEC’s final judgment against them that included a civil penalty of $400,000. They are also permanently enjoined from violating the antifraud provisions of Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

In addition, Springer agreed to settle an administrative proceeding pursuant to Section 203(f) of the Advisers Act that bars him from associating with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent, or nationally recognized statistical rating organization.

The attorneys at Lewitas Hyman have decades of experience dealing with securities fraud cases and have a deep understanding of how capital markets and financial service firms are intended to work to protect investors. We bring a unique level of knowledge and experience when representing the rights of investors, including resolving cases through arbitration and litigation when necessary. If you think your financial professional or firm engaged in misconduct that caused you investment losses, contact Lewitas Hyman at (888) 655-6002 or through our online contact form for a no-cost evaluation of your matter.