Silver Law Group is investigating FINRA-barred broker John Vernon Heath (CRD# 2331052) for stealing client funds and recommending unsuitable investments.
Heath was employed most recently at Independent Financial Group, LLC in Bloomington, Minnesota. Independent Financial Group then discharged Heath after he admitted to wrongfully taking client funds, according to his FINRA BrokerCheck report. Shortly thereafter, FINRA permanently barred Heath from securities industry for failing to respond to FINRA’s request for information.
The State of Minnesota Department of Commerce (“MDOC”) commenced a formal criminal action against Heath on the allegations. In the MDOC complaint, the MDOC alleges that Heath stole the identity of an elderly client and used the client’s funds on various personal expenditures totaling $78,744.54.
Heath, according to the MDOC complaint, was the financial advisor of an 88-year-old man who suffered from dementia. Then working for Amiot Financial Group in Bloomington, MN, Heath helped the elderly man sign up for an annuity with a value of approximately $180,000. He then, allegedly, fraudulently changed the contact information for the annuity to his own in order to access the funds. Heath then established a bank account through which he could liquidate and spend the annuity’s funds. Heath proceeded to withdraw funds without the man’s knowledge or consent on various items, including paying Heath’s credit card debt.
But the issues for Heath are not just criminal in nature. Allegations that he mishandled his clients’ money in the form of other securities misconduct are starting to arise. In April 2016, a FINRA arbitration was filed against Heath alleging unsuitable investment recommendations.
John Vernon Heath had been in the securities industry for 22 years, working at four different firms, according to his FINRA BrokerCheck report.
The saying that where there is smoke there is fire often rings true in situations such as this. More aptly, in Heath’s case, there admittedly may be more fire than smoke. It is possible that more of his clients have suffered losses due to his misconduct.
For the investors who have lost money due to Heath’s securities-related misconduct, our firm can help you recover your losses through FINRA arbitration, as the firm owes a duty to the client to ensure its broker is acting properly.
FINRA arbitration is a fast, efficient way to recover your lost investment funds. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay us nothing unless we win and recover money for you.
If you have invested with John Vernon Heath and the Independent Financial Group, LLC and have lost money doing so, you may be able to recover some or all of your losses. Our lawyers are experienced in recovering investor losses due to broker and brokerage firm misconduct through FINRA arbitration.
Silver Law Group represents the interests of investors who have been the victims of investment fraud. If you have questions about your legal rights, please contact Scott Silver of the Silver Law Group for a free consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll free at (800) 975-4345.