CMD is Investigating Claims Against Lawson Financial Corporation for Securities Fraud

Securities law firm Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (“CMD”) is investigating claims against brokerage firm Lawson Financial Corporation (CRD# 15261)  for securities fraud.

In May 2016, FINRA filed a complaint against Lawson Financial Corporation and its CEO Robert Lawson, alleging that they carried out a massive securities fraud in connection with the sale of millions of dollars of municipal revenue bonds to Lawson Financial Corporation customers, in violation of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”), Rule 10b-5 there under and Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”) Rule G-17.  During this same period, and continuing through the present, Robert Lawson also misused customer funds in violation of FINRA Rules 2150(a) and 2010, and Robert Lawson and Respondent Pamela Lawson  violated FINRA Rule 2010 by abusing their positions as co-trustees of a charitable remainder trust by improperly transferring millions of dollars from the trust in an undisclosed attempt to prop up the faltering borrowers of the municipal revenue bonds.

Lawson Financial Corporation’s and Robert Lawson’s fraudulent securities sales involved four municipal revenue bonds: the Hillcrest Bonds, the Decatur Bonds, the Cullman Bonds, and the Destiny Bonds. Lawson Financial Corporation and Robert Lawson’s fraudulent bond sales included bond sales made in primary market sales to Lawson Financial Corporation customers in the initial bond offering period for the Hillcrest Bonds, as sold commencing in October 2014, as well as later secondary market bond sales of the Hillcrest Bonds to Lawson Financial Corporation customers in 2015.  In addition, Lawson Financial Corporation and Robert Lawson’s fraudulent bond sales included secondary market bond sales made (i) to Lawson Financial Corporation customers who purchased the Cullman Bonds and Decatur Bonds between January 2013 and July 2015, and (ii) to Lawson Financial Corporation customers who purchased the Destiny Bonds between May 2015 and September 2015.

The Destiny Bonds and Hillcrest Bonds funded a charter school located in Mesa, Arizona, while the Cullman Bonds and Decatur Bonds funded two assisted living facilities located in, respectively, Cullman and Decatur, Alabama. The charter school and the two assisted living facilities (the conduit borrowers for the municipal revenue bonds) each suffered from severe financial difficulties and were unable to meet their required operating expenses. Moreover, the Cullman and Decatur assisted living facilities often were unable to meet required debt service payments on the Cullman Bonds and the Decatur Bonds without using funds from the charitable remainder trust account at Lawson Financial Corporation.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Lawson Financial Corporation, you may be entitled to recover your investment losses through FINRA arbitration.  CMD accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid.  Your time to file a claim may be limited, so contact us today at (212) 658-0458 or contact@cmdllp.com for a free and confidential case evaluation.

CMD Investigating Claims Against Broker Kelsey Marie Molyet and J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, LLC for Fraud

Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating potential claims against securities broker Kelsey Marie Molyet (CRD #5695243, Indianapolis, Indiana) and J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, LLC, for fraud and failure to supervise.

In May, Kelsey Marie Molyet submitted an Acceptance, Waiver and Consent in which she was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Without admitting or denying the findings, Ms. Molyet consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that she falsified documents, including checks and account statements, and provided them to J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, LLC’s customers and their agents with the intent to deceive them about their account balances.

FINRA’s findings stated that Ms. Molyet made written misrepresentations to customers and their agents regarding the value of their accounts and the execution status of certain requested transactions. The findings also stated that Ms. Moyet impersonated a customer during telephone calls with third parties. FINRA’s findings also included that Ms. Molyet falsely asserted, in response to a FINRA information request, that she did not alter documents before sending them to customers and their agents.

If you or someone you know lost money investing with Kelsey Marie Molyet and/or J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, LLC, you may be entitled to recover your investment losses through FINRA arbitration.  CMD accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid.  Your time to file a claim may be limited, so contact us today at (212) 658-0458 or contact@cmdllp.com for a free and confidential case evaluation.

CMD Investigating Claims Against Lawson Financial Corporation, Inc. and CEO Robert Lawson for Fraud

Carmel, Milazzo & DiChiara LLP (CMD) is investigating potential claims against Lawson Financial Corporation, Inc., an Arizona based company, and its CEO Robert Lawson for fraud related to municipal bonds.

FINRA has issued a formal complaint against Lawson Financial Corporation, Inc. (LFC), as well as Robert Lawson, the company’s CEO and President with self-dealing – furthermore the regulator has charged LFC with abuse and securities fraud given their role as co-trustees of a charitable remainder trust. In particular, LFC and Lawson were improperly using the trust funds to indirectly prop up the struggling offerings via transfers of millions of dollars from the charitable remainder trust account – the allegations also extend to Pamela Lawson, LFC’s Chief Operating Officer (COO).

The specific municipal bonds at issue in the cited complaint include a $10.5 million bond offering back in October 2014 for bonds relating to an Arizona charter school – this was underwritten by LFC and peddled to LFC customers.  In addition, LFC had also been involved in secondary market bond sales to its clientele in 2015, involving earlier-issued municipal revenue bonds to the same charter school.  Finally, the complaint details secondary market sales to LFC’s customers between early 2013 and July 2015, concerning two separate assisted living facilities in Alabama.

FINRA has alleged that Lawson and LFC were acutely aware of the financial difficulties faced by the municipal revenue bond conduit borrowers, i.e. the Arizona charter school and the assisted living centers, opting to mask the financial woes facing these groups to its customers. This was further compounded by allegations that Lawson and LFC carried out their securities fraud by transferring millions of dollars from a deceased customer’s charitable trust account to cover up any associated risks endemic in the municipal revenue bonds.

Securities fraud, also known as stock fraud and investment fraud, is a deceptive practice in the stock, bond or commodities markets that induces investors to make purchase or sale decisions on the basis of false information, frequently resulting in losses, in violation of securities laws. 

Investors are protected against fraudulent securities activities by several different civil laws. First, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. § 78a et seq.) and Rule 10b-5 protect investors against deceptive and manipulative acts in the purchase or sale of securities. This sweeping legislation is the cornerstone of federal securities laws. Rule 10b-5 makes it unlawful to employ a device or scheme to defraud, to make any untrue statement of material fact or omit to state a material fact not misleading, or to engage in any practice that would operate as a fraud.

If you or someone you know lost money investing in or with Lawson Financial Corporation, Inc., you may be entitled to recover your investment losses through FINRA arbitration.  CMD accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid.  Your time to file a claim may be limited, so contact us today at (212) 658-0458 or contact@cmdllp.com for a free and confidential case evaluation.