Texas suspends one adviser, orders second to repay commissions

Mark Trewitt sold private fund that collapsed; Clair Crossland sold risky investments

Jun 10, 2019 @ 1:38 pm

By InvestmentNews

The Texas Securities Commissioner has sanctioned two Dallas-area investment adviser representatives for selling unsuitable investments to clients.

(More:Finra suspends ex-Morgan Stanley broker who made hundreds of CD trades for elderly client)

The state regulator suspended Mark Trewett, who was employed by VGF Advisors at the time of the sales, for selling a private fund managed by Aequitas Management of Portland, Ore. The fund collapsed in 2016.

Clients of Mr. Trewett, who was suspended for 90 days, invested $173,306 in the fund, which was half of their liquid assets. Mr. 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, nonlisted real estate investment trusts and business development companies. The couple's investment accounted for 40% of their liquid assets.

Separately, the Texas regulator 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 Mr. Crossland earned from the sales.

(More:State regulators urge SEC not to try to block state fiduciary laws)

Mr. Crossland is president of LFA IRA, a Dallas investment advisory firm. Mr. Crossland "did not understand the complexities of stream-of-income investments and the risks they posed to his clients," the Texas Securities Commissioner, Travis J. Iles, said in a release.

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