A National Securities Arbitration & Investment Fraud Law Firm

Former Cetera-related Broker Clay E. Hoffman Has 19 BrokerCheck Disclosures; FINRA Actions

Silver Law Group is investigating former Georgia-based Summit Brokerage Services, Inc. (CRD# 34643) broker Clay E. Hoffman (CRD# 4371162) due to multiple FINRA actions pending against him and his racking up of 16 BrokerCheck disclosures in the past five years.

FINRA has initiated four regulatory actions against Hoffman in 2016, according to Hoffman’s FINRA BrokerCheck report.  Our attorneys have been monitoring FINRA’s actions against Hoffman.

The first, initiated in February, alleged Hoffman exercised discretion in a customer’s account and made unauthorized transactions without written authorization from the customer or the approval of Hoffman’s firm.  Hoffman was fined $5,000 and suspended for 15 days.

The second came in May and was due to Hoffman’s failure to pay the $5,000 fine.  Hoffman was subsequently suspended in June after Hoffman failed to respond to a FINRA inquiry.  Finally, in November, Hoffman was named a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that he failed to respond to multiple requests for documents and information related to a FINRA investigation.  The action currently is pending.

Over the course of his career, Hoffman has had nine FINRA arbitrations against him settle.  Many of the settlement alleged breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and unsuitable recommendations.

In 2013, Hoffman was discharged by SunTrust Investment Services, Inc. (CRD# 17499) after SunTrust reviewed Hoffman’s client account transactions and concluded they presented unacceptable risk to the firm.

According to Hoffman’s detailed CRD report, Hoffman operates under the moniker Hoffman Investments in Brunswick, Georgia in his Summit branch office.

Summit is part of Cetera Financial Group’s extensive network of independent brokerage firms, many of which came to be owned by a common owner when Nicholas “Nick” Schorsch and RCS Capital Corp. went on an acquisition spree to acquire brokerage firms.

Cetera Financial Group has made a concerted effort to close some of the acquisitions and consolidate, including J.P. Turner & Company (CRD# 43177), VSR Financial Services, Inc. (CRD# 14503), and Investors Capital Corp. (CRD# 30613).

Many of the firms under then Cetera network have a history of selling alternative investments, including Schorsch and RCS Capital’s penchant business development companies (“BDCs”), non-traded REITs, oil and gas drilling partnerships, and private placements.  Our firm has compiled a list of some of the non-traded REITs and BDCs.  Further, five Cetera firms were fined recently for alleged misconduct related to L-share variable annuities, including Summit Brokerage Services.

If you have lost money investing with Clay E. Hoffman and SunTrust Investment Services or Summit Brokerage Services, you may be entitled to recover some or all of your losses through FINRA arbitration.

FINRA arbitration is a fast, efficient way to recover your lost investment funds due to unauthorized trading.  We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay us nothing unless we win and recover money for you.

Silver Law Group represents the interests of investors who have been the victims of investment fraud nationwide.  If you have questions about your legal rights, please contact Scott Silver of the Silver Law Group for a free consultation at ssilver@silverlaw.com or toll free at (800) 975-4345.

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