Christopher Shawn Vaughn – and the firm that employs him or her – is regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
If you are like most people, before you go out to dinner at a new restaurant, you probably take a quick look at the reviews. This makes sense; you are going to pay for an expensive dinner, and you need to be sure that you are getting a good value.
Yet, when choosing a financial advisor, many people fail to conduct this same level of due diligence. Before turning over access to your money, you need to be sure that you have found a financial advisor that you can trust. Here, our audit report, including details of allegations, complaints, and sanctions will help you decide whether or not to invest with Christopher Shawn Vaughn.
BrokerComplaints.com is currently investigating allegations related to Christopher Shawn Vaughn. We provide a free platform for investors to help them in their claims against negligent brokers and brokerage firms.
About Christopher Vaughn
Christopher Shawn Vaughn is an Investment Adviser. Christopher Shawn Vaughn’s Central Registration Depository (CRD) number is 4956822 and the FINRA Profile can be found at – https://brokercheck.finra.org/individual/summary/4956822.
Click here to download a Detailed Audit Report for Christopher Shawn Vaughn.
Christopher Shawn Vaughn has previously been reprimanded and has disclosures and/or client dispute(s) listed at FINRA BrokerCheck.
Accusations and Disclosures
You can find below, a quick snapshot of Christopher Shawn Vaughn’s regulatory actions, arbitrations, and complaints.
DISCLOSURE 1 –
- Event Date: 6/13/2013
- Disclosure Type: Regulatory
- Disclosure Resolution: Final
- Disclosure Detail :: DocketNumberFDA: 2011028581201
- DocketNumberAAO: 2011028581201
- Initiated By: FINRA
- Allegations: FINRA RULES 2010, 2150(A), NASD RULE 3110: VAUGHN ENGAGED IN A SCHEME TO CONVERT SECURITIES OWNED BY AN ELDERLY CUSTOMER. WITHOUT THE CUSTOMER’S KNOWLEDGE OR CONSENT, VAUGHN MADE HIS WIFE THE PRIMARY BENEFICIARY OF THE CUSTOMER’S BROKERAGE ACCOUNT. WHEN THE ACCOUNT WAS OPENED, VAUGHN DID NOT INFORM HIS IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR, OR ANY OTHER SUPERVISOR AT HIS MEMBER FIRM, THAT HIS WIFE WAS THE BENEFICIARY. AS PART OF HIS EFFORTS TO HIDE HIS MISCONDUCT, VAUGHN PROVIDED A FALSE MAILING ADDRESS FOR THE CUSTOMER ON HER APPLICATION. THE ADDRESS WAS FOR A POST OFFICE BOX BELONGING TO HIS WIFE’S GRANDFATHER. THIS PREVENTED THE FIRM FROM DELIVERING MONTHLY ACCOUNT STATEMENTS AND TRADING CONFIRMATION TO THE CUSTOMER AT HER ACTUAL RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. BY DOING SO, VAUGHN CAUSED HIS FIRM’S BOOKS AND RECORDS TO BE INACCURATE. AFTER OPENING HER ACCOUNT, VAUGHN RECOMMENDED AND SOLD THE CUSTOMER A FIXED ANNUITY CONTRACT FOR $10,000. THE CUSTOMER INFORMED VAUGHN THAT SHE WANTED HER NEIGHBOR TO BE NAMED AS THE BENEFICIARY OF THE ANNUITY. IN DIRECT CONTRAVENTION OF THE CUSTOMER’S INSTRUCTIONS, VAUGHN FALSELY RECORDED IN THE FIRM’S ELECTRONIC SYSTEM THAT HIS WIFE WAS THE PRIMARY AND SOLE BENEFICIARY OF THE ANNUITY. IN CONNECTION WITH THE ANNUITY, VAUGHN PROVIDED THE SAME INCORRECT MAILING ADDRESS FOR THE CUSTOMER IN THE FIRM’S SYSTEM, THEREBY PREVENTING THE FIRM OR THE COMPANY THAT ISSUED THE ANNUITY FROM DELIVERING INFORMATION CONCERNING THE CUSTOMER’S ANNUITY TO HER ACTUAL RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. AFTER RECEIVING AN EMAIL COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMPANY THAT ISSUED THE ANNUITY INQUIRING ABOUT THE ACCURACY OF THE CUSTOMER’S MAILING ADDRESS, VAUGHN FALSELY REPRESENTED TO THE COMPANY THAT THE CUSTOMER’S ADDRESS WAS CORRECT AND THAT HE WAS INFORMED BY THE CUSTOMER THAT SHE HAD EXPERIENCED DELIVERY ISSUES WITH THE POST OFFICE. THE CUSTOMER RECEIVED A PACKET OF DOCUMENTS CONCERNING HER ANNUITY AND FROM THOSE SHE LEARNED FOR THE FIRST TIME THAT VAUGHN’S WIFE WAS NAMED AS THE BENEFICIARY OF THE ANNUITY. THE CUSTOMER DID NOT KNOW WHO VAUGHN’S WIFE WAS. AFTER BEING CONTACTED BY THE CUSTOMER’S NEIGHBOR QUESTIONING THE INACCURATE ADDRESS AND WHY HIS WIFE WAS NAMED AS THE BENEFICIARY, AND INDICATING THAT THE CUSTOMER WANTED HER $10,000 INVESTMENT RETURNED, VAUGHN TOLD THE CUSTOMER AND HER NEIGHBOR THAT HE HAD MISTAKENLY IDENTIFIED HIS WIFE AS THE BENEFICIARY OF THE ANNUITY BECAUSE A MEMBER OF HIS WIFE’S FAMILY PURCHASE A $10,000 ANNUITY AT THE SAME TIME AND NAMED HIS WIFE AS THE BENEFICIARY. AT HER REQUEST, THE CUSTOMER’S ANNUITY CONTRACT WAS CANCELLED AND THE $10,000 WAS REFUNDED TO HER. AFTER THE CUSTOMER’S NEIGHBOR INFORMED VAUGHN OF THE CUSTOMER’S DEATH, HE INFORMED THE NEIGHBOR THAT THE CUSTOMER CONTACTED HIM TO REMOVE THE NEIGHBOR AS THE BENEFICIARY. VAUGHN PROMISED TO PROVIDE THE NEIGHBOR WITH DOCUMENTATION TO THAT EFFECT, BUT HE NEVER DID. FOLLOWING THE CUSTOMER’S DEATH, VAUGHN OPENED A BROKERAGE ACCOUNT IN HIS WIFE’S NAME FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF RECEIVING THE ASSETS FROM THE CUSTOMER’S ACCOUNT. VAUGHN’S WIFE THEN PRESENTED TO HIS FIRM A DEATH CERTIFICATE THAT VAUGHN OBTAINED FROM THE NEIGHBOR AND SUCCESSFULLY CAUSED THE ASSETS HELD IN THE CUSTOMER’S ACCOUNT TO BE TRANSFERRED TO HIS WIFE’S BROKERAGE ACCOUNT. THE CUSTOMER’S ACCOUNT HELD TWO MUTUAL FUNDS WORTH A COMBINED $22,417.58. AFTER LEARNING THAT THE CUSTOMER’S ASSETS HAD BEEN TRANSFERRED TO VAUGHN’S WIFE’S ACCOUNT, THE NEIGHBOR AND THE CUSTOMER’S ATTORNEY ASKED THE FIRM TO CONDUCT AN INVESTIGATION INTO VAUGHN’S CONDUCT WITH RESPECT TO THE CUSTOMER’S ACCOUNT. THE FIRM FOUND NO DOCUMENTATION EVIDENCING THE CUSTOMER REQUESTED VAUGHN’S WIFE TO BE NAMED AS A BENEFICIARY ON EITHER THE ACCOUNT OR ANNUITY. VAUGHN WAS TERMINATED BY THE FIRM IN CONNECTION WITH THIS MATTER. VAUGHN AND HIS WIFE EXECUTED A MUTUAL RELEASE AND SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT WITH THE FIRM, AGREEING TO TRANSFER THE ASSETS HELD IN THE WIFE’S ACCOUNT BACK TO THE CUSTOMER’S ACCOUNT OR AN ACCOUNT MAINTAINED IN THE NAME OF THE CUSTOMER’S ESTATE.
- Resolution: Decision & Order of Offer of Settlement
- Sanction Details :: Sanctions: Bar (Permanent)
- Sanction Details :: Registration Capacities Affected: All Capacities
- Duration: Indefinite
- Start Date: 8/23/2013
- Regulator Statement: WITHOUT ADMITTING OR DENYING THE ALLEGATIONS, VAUGHN CONSENTED TO THE DESCRIBED SANCTION AND TO THE ENTRY OF FINDINGS, THEREFORE HE IS BARRED FROM ASSOCIATION WITH ANY FINRA MEMBER IN ANY CAPACITY.
According to a study prepared for the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, 80 percent of American investors report that they have been solicited to participate in a fraud scheme, while 11 percent of American investors report that they personally lost money as a result of fraud.
FINRA notes that the rate of investment fraud is most likely much higher than it is reported. This is because many victims of financial advisor scams are too ashamed to come forward. Further, the study also found that a significant number of investors do not know how to spot common red flags of investment fraud. The least you should do is share your experience with other potential victims of investment scams.
Under federal securities law and securities industry regulations, registered investment firms have a legal duty to supervise their financial advisors. Section 15(b)(4)(E) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 makes a securities firm liable for the conduct of representatives.
- SUNTRUST INVESTMENT SERVICES, INC. (CRD#: 17499) :: 8/27/2009 – 7/18/2011 :: DELTONA, FL
- WELLS FARGO ADVISORS, LLC (CRD#: 19616) :: 1/1/2008 – 8/18/2009 :: THE VILLAGES, FL
- A. G. EDWARDS & SONS, INC. (CRD#: 4) :: 6/25/2007 – 1/3/2008 :: THE VILLAGES, FL
- WACHOVIA SECURITIES, LLC (CRD#: 19616) :: 4/7/2006 – 6/7/2007 :: LEESBURG, FL
The duty to supervise securities representatives is a strong legal requirement. Registered investment firms must take many different steps to ensure that they are protecting their customers from irresponsible and criminal financial advisors.
Legit or Not?
Unfortunately, stockbroker fraud is more common than many investors would like to think. And yes, stockbrokers (including Christopher Shawn Vaughn, but not limited to) can (and do) steal money from their clients. While it’s rare that a broker will literally steal his client’s money (though that does happen), typically the “theft” of investment funds comes in the form of other fraudulent violations of securities law and FINRA rules which leads to significant investment losses.
Investors generally understand that there are risks associated with buying and selling securities. The market can go up, and the market can go down. No matter how skilled of an investor you are, there are always risks. With that being said, sometimes investment losses cannot be blamed on simple back luck.
There are 10 major types of complaints we receive against Investment Brokers –
- Outright Theft (Conversion of Funds)
- Unauthorized Trading
- Misrepresentation or Omission of Material Facts
- Excessive Trading (Churning)
- Lack of Diversification
- Unsuitable Investment Recommendations
- Failure to Disclose a Personal Conflict of Interest
- Front Running of Transactions
- Breakpoint Sale Violations
- Negligent Portfolio Management
Do your due diligence before investing. Public records are available for everybody to review and decide on the safest bet.
How to Protect Yourself
We, as citizens, place a great deal of trust in the financial advisors who are tasked with helping us achieve and maintain financial security. Most of the time financial advisors and stockbrokers are honest folks who work diligently in their client’s best interests. However, on occasion financial advisors and the brokerage firms who employ them mess up and cause serious financial harm to their clients. Sometimes these losses are caused by simple negligence. Other times fraud or other serious misconduct is to blame.
Here are 5 signs that your broker needs to be reported –
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty: Under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, certain investment professionals, known as registered investment advisors (RIAs), owe fiduciary obligations to their customers. Your investment broker must always look out for your best interests. If you lost money because of your broker’s breach of fiduciary duty, you may be entitled to compensation for the full value of your damages.
- Unsuitable Investments: Many financial advisors are not fiduciaries. Instead, they are held to the suitability standard. These stockbrokers and financial advisors can only sell and recommend financial products that are appropriate for a customer’s unique investment profile. If you lost money in unsuitable investments, you should consider reporting them.
- Material Misrepresentations or Omissions: Brokers have a duty to make fair and honest representations to their clients. If they fail to do so, and an investor loses money due to a misrepresentation or a material omission, the broker may be liable for the investor’s losses.
- Lack of Diversification: Brokers must also act with the appropriate level of professional skill. Pushing a customer into over-concentrated investments is highly risky. Brokers can be held liable for losses sustained because of an investor’s inappropriate lack of diversification.
- Excessive Trading (Churning): Stockbrokers and financial advisors must have a well-grounded, reasonable basis to execute all trades. Unfortunately, there are cases in which brokers will frequently trade on a customer’s account, simply to increase their own fees. This unlawful practice is known as churning.
- Unauthorized Trading: Brokers must have the proper legal authority to make transactions on behalf of a client. If you lost money because your broker made trades that you never approved of, you may have been the victim of unauthorized trading. You should consult with an experienced attorney.
Report Christopher Vaughn
In order to prevail in an investment fraud lawsuit or FINRA arbitration cases, you must be able to assert a viable ‘cause of action’.
Christopher Shawn Vaughn – and the firm that employs this broker – is regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). FINRA provides an online form to allow investors to file a formal complaint against their financial advisor, stockbroker, or brokerage firm.
Click here to go to FINRA’s Online Complaint Form →
This form will ask you for specific information related to your complaint. Be prepared by gathering the following:
- Name and symbol for the investment product in question.
- The CRD number (4956822) for the broker – Christopher Shawn Vaughn
- Your complete contact information.
Remember, it is advised to report your broker to FINRA, only after you have exhausted all of your other remedies and carefully prepared a compelling complaint. Once you file a complaint against your broker at FINRA, your case will be bound by FINRA’s rules and the arbitration panel’s eventual decision. The time clock will start, and your complaint will be served on your broker or broker-dealer.
The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the source BrokerComplaints.com and do not necessarily reflect the official position of ‘The Skeptic Files,’ which shall not be held liable for any inaccuracies presented. The information provided within this article is for general informational purposes only. While we try to keep the information up-to-date and correct, there are no representations or warranties, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability of the information in this article for any purpose.
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