SEC charges $54 million Louisiana RIA and owners for cherry-picking scheme

Wesley Kyle Perkins and Priscilla Gilmore Perkins, husband and wife owners of World Tree Financial, allegedly benefited themselves by handpicking the most profitable trades

Sep 20, 2018 @ 4:58 pm

By Greg Iacurci

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday charged a Louisiana-based advisory firm and its two owners — a husband and wife — for defrauding clients via a cherry-picking scheme perpetuated over several years.

World Tree Financial and its owners — Wesley Kyle Perkins, the CEO and CIO, and Priscilla Gilmore Perkins, the firm's head of compliance, operations and finance — allegedly cherry-picked trades over a four-year span.

The scheme — under which advisers allocated winning trades to themselves or favored clients and allocated the losing trades to other clients — generated in-house profits for World Tree and a select number of clients while causing "substantial losses" for other clients, the SEC claimed.

(More: Regulators use big data to turn up enforcement heat)

The alleged fraud also misled clients who received better trades into thinking the firm managed money better than was true in reality, according to the SEC.

Neither Mr. or Ms. Perkins had returned a call seeking comment on the allegations by press time.

World Tree, based in Lafayette, Louisiana, had $54 million and 161 individual clients as of March 2018, according to the SEC's civil complaint, which was filed Sep. 18 in the U.S. District court for the Western District of Louisiana. The firm withdrew its SEC registration in June 2012, and is currently registered as investment adviser with the state of Louisiana.

(More: Shorthanded SEC may have to decide investment advice proposal on its own)

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Featured video

Events

InvestmentNews celebrates diversity & inclusion in the financial advice business

Highlights of the Excellence in D&I Awards, showcasing the achievements of 26 individuals and firms that are moving the needle when it comes to diversity and inclusion.

Latest news & opinion

SEC commissioner Stein suggests Congress address differing broker, adviser standards

She said lawmakers may have to change 'solely incidental' language that lets brokers give advice.

Social Security and the fear of missing out

How to lower expectations when clients think they're owed a bigger Social Security benefit.

7 things advisers should do today to boost diversity and inclusion

Creating diversity and inclusion within financial advice firms is challenging, but these InvestmentNews Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion award winners have suggestions that firms can put into practice today

The midterm elections: What's at stake for financial advisers

A shift in control of the House could change the course of important issues, including the SEC advice rule, tax reform and retirement policies.

What to tell your clients after they've won the lottery

The current combined Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots are more than $850 million. What should you tell your clients if they have a winning ticket?

X

Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting investmentnews.com? It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist investmentnews.com

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print