James Baldwin Robinson – 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 James Baldwin Robinson.
BrokerComplaints.com is currently investigating allegations related to James Baldwin Robinson. We provide a free platform for investors to help them in their claims against negligent brokers and brokerage firms.
About James Robinson
James Baldwin Robinson is an Investment Adviser. James Baldwin Robinson’s Central Registration Depository (CRD) number is 1651804 and the FINRA Profile can be found at – https://brokercheck.finra.org/individual/summary/1651804.
Click here to download a Detailed Audit Report for James Baldwin Robinson.
James Baldwin Robinson 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 James Baldwin Robinson’s regulatory actions, arbitrations, and complaints.
DISCLOSURE 1 –
- Event Date: 4/4/2014
- Disclosure Type: Customer Dispute
- Disclosure Resolution: Settled
- Disclosure Detail :: Allegations: Star Ventures LLC was not a customer of Middlebury Securities. The claimant alleged that his investment into a Single Purpose Vehicle, in which was managed by a registered representative under the supervision of James Robinson was improper. The investment would have occurred in May of 2010 and there were subsequent investments into that SPV. The claimant alleged that Jim Robinson did not adequately supervise the RR outside business activities and therefore was responsible for him being sold an investment in which was not appropriate for his risk tolerance.
- Damage Amount Requested: $325,000.00
- Settlement Amount: $150,000.00
- Arbitration Docket Number:
- Broker Comment: Mr Robinson felt it would be more cost effective to settle than undertake a lengthy legal battle. The claimant stated that due to insufficient supervision he purchased membership into a SPV that was beyond his risk tolerance.
DISCLOSURE 2 –
- Event Date: 12/11/2013
- Disclosure Type: Regulatory
- Disclosure Resolution: Final
- Disclosure Detail :: DocketNumberFDA:
- Initiated By: MICHIGAN
- Allegations: ORDER SUMMARILY SUSPENDING SECURITIES AGENT REGISTRATION DATED 12/11/2013, FILE 321909. CONTACT AGENCY FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.
- Resolution: Order
- Sanction Details :: Sanctions: Suspension
- Sanction Details :: Registration Capacities Affected: SECURITIES AGENT REGISTRATION
- Duration: 278 DAYS
- Start Date: 12/11/2013
- End Date: 9/15/2014
- Broker Comment: THE ALLEGATIONS IN THE AWC ARISE OUT OF THE CONDUCT OF A FORMER REPRESENTATIVE OF THE FIRM FROM APPROXIMATELY DECEMBER 2009 THROUGH APRIL 2012. THAT REPRESENTATIVE LEFT THE FIRM’S EMPLOY IN JULY 2012. THIS CONDUCT DID NOT RESULT IN ANY LOSSES OF CUSTOMER FUNDS WHILE IN THE FIRM’S CUSTODY, AND NO CUSTOMER HAS FILED ANY CLAIM AGAINST THE FIRM FOR ANY SUCH LOSSES. THE CONVERSION REFERRED TO IN THE AWC RESULTED FROM THE REPRESENATATIVE PAYING HIMSELF A FEE, PURPORTEDLY OWED TO HIM BY THE ISSUER FOR WHICH THE ESCROW WAS BEING MAINTAINED, WITHOUT OBTAINING PROPER AUTHORITY OR FOLLOWING PROPER PROCEDURES. THE CO-MINGLING OF CUSTOMER FUNDS REFERRED TO IN THE FINRA ALLEGATIONS AROSE BECAUSE THE FIRM ENGAGED A LAWFIRM TO HOLD SUCH FUNDS, THE LAWFIRM KEPT SUCH FUNDS IN OMNIBUS ATTORNEY ESCROW ACCOUNT INSTEAD OF IN SEPARATE BANK ACCOUNTS, AND THE FIRM DID NOT DETECT AND RECOGNIZE THIS PRACTICE AS A RULE VIOLATION. THE FIRM HAS REVAMPED ITS PRACTICES IN LIGHT OF FINRA’S INVESTIGATION TO ADDRESS ALL THE MATTERS RAISED BY FINRA’S ALLEGATIONS. MOREOVER, SINCE JULY 2012 THE FIRM HAS COMPREHENSIVELY REVIEWED AND REVISED ITS COMPLIANCE POLICIES AND CONTROL PROCEDURES TO ENSURE THAT THE SUPERVISORY LAPSES ALLEGED IN THE AWC DO NOT REOCCUR.
DISCLOSURE 3 –
- Event Date: 8/21/2013
- Disclosure Type: Regulatory
- Disclosure Resolution: Final
- Disclosure Detail :: DocketNumberFDA: 2011025438902
- DocketNumberAAO: 2011025438902
- Initiated By: FINRA
- Allegations: FINRA RULE 2010, NASD RULES 1021(A), 3010, 3012: ROBERSON’S FIRM, ACTING THROUGH ITS REGISTERED REPRESENTATIVE, MISUSED $200,000 IN ESCROWED CUSTOMER FUNDS THAT WERE GIVEN TO THE FIRM FOR INVESTMENT IN ISSUERS’ OFFERINGS TO MAKE PAYMENTS TO, OR ON BEHALF OF ANOTHER ISSUER, WHEN THIS ISSUER HAD NO AUTHORITY TO RECEIVE FUNDS FROM THE OTHERS UNDER THE TERMS OF EACH OF THESE OFFERINGS. THE REGISTERED REPRESENTATIVE RAISED APPROXIMATELY $5.09 MILLION FROM INVESTORS THROUGH THE SALE OF ISSUERS’ OFFERINGS, AND HE MADE FRAUDULENT MISREPRESENTATIONS AND OMISSIONS OF MATERIAL FACTS IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF THE ISSUERS’ OFFERINGS. INVESTOR FUNDS RECEIVED FROM THESE OFFERINGS WERE COMMINGLED IN A NON-SEGREGATED MANNER IN THE ESCROW ACCOUNTS. THE REPRESENTATIVE CONVERTED APPROXIMATELY $125,000 IN ESCROWED MONIES RECEIVED FROM OFFERING INVESTORS BY DIRECTING THAT THOSE FUNDS BE WIRED TO HIS PERSONAL BANK ACCOUNT. ROBINSON HAD SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY OVER THE REPRESENTATIVE AND WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR REVIEWING HIS ACTIVITIES TO ENSURE HIS COMPLIANCE WITH APPLICABLE SECURITIES LAWS AND THE FIRM’S WRITTEN SUPERVISORY PROCEDURES. THE FIRM, ACTING THROUGH ROBINSON, FAILED TO REASONABLY SUPERVISE THE REPRESENTATIVE, BY AMONG OTHER THINGS, FAILING TO REVIEW HIS SELLING ACTIVITY AND HANDLING OF CUSTOMER OFFERING FUNDS THROUGH THE ESCROW ACCOUNTS. IN PARTICULAR, ROBINSON FAILED TO MONITOR AND REVIEW THE REPRESENTATIVE’S RELEASES OF FUNDS FROM THOSE ACCOUNTS. AS A RESULT, THE REPRESENTATIVE WAS GIVEN ACCESS TO INVESTOR MONEY, RESULTING IN THE CONVERSION. ROBINSON FAILED TO DETECT THIS ACTIVITY. ROBINSON WAS ALSO AWARE OF RED FLAGS SUGGESTIVE OF VIOLATIVE CONDUCT BY THE REPRESENTATIVE, BUT FAILED TO TAKE REASONABLE FOLLOW-UP STEPS TO REVIEW HIS CONDUCT. THE FIRM, ACTING THROUGH ROBINSON, FAILED TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN AN ADEQUATE SUPERVISORY SYSTEM, AND FAILED TO ESTABLISH, MAINTAIN AND ENFORCE ADEQUATE WRITTEN SUPERVISORY PROCEDURES AND WRITTEN SUPERVISORY CONTROL PROCEDURES, REASONABLY DESIGNED TO ACHIEVE COMPLIANCE WITH THE APPLICABLE SECURITIES LAWS AND REGULATIONS AND FINRA RULES APPLICABLE TO THE HANDLING AND TRANSMITTAL OF CUSTOMER FUNDS IN CONNECTION WITH PRIVATE OFFERING ACTIVITY, INCLUDING THE MONITORING OF FUND TRANSMITTALS TO THIRD-PARTY ACCOUNTS. AS THE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF COMPLIANCE OFFICER, ROBINSON WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR ESTABLISHING AND IMPLEMENTING A REASONABLE SUPERVISORY SYSTEM AND WRITTEN SUPERVISORY PROCEDURES FOR THE FIRM, AS WELL AS ESTABLISHING AND IMPLEMENTING THE FIRM’S SUPERVISORY CONTROL SYSTEM. THE FIRM, ACTING THROUGH ROBINSON, FAILED TO OBTAIN MONTHLY BANK STATEMENTS FOR THE FIRM’S ESCROW ACCOUNTS. INSTEAD, THE FIRM AND ROBINSON RELIED SOLELY ON MANUALLY-PREPARED SPREADSHEETS THAT THE ESCROW AGENT PROVIDED MONTHLY FOR EACH OFFERING SHOWING ESCROW ACCOUNT ACTIVITY. FURTHER, SINCE THE FIRM NEVER OBTAINED THE ACTUAL BANK STATEMENTS FOR ITS ESCROW ACCOUNTS, IT WAS UNABLE TO VERIFY THAT THE INFORMATION THAT A LAW FIRM PROVIDED ON THE ESCROW SPREADSHEETS WAS ACCURATE. ROBINSON ALSO FAILED TO IMPLEMENT ANY PROCEDURES REQUIRING THE REVIEW AND RETENTION OF ESCROW RELEASE NOTICES, THE SOLE DOCUMENT USED TO RELEASE CUSTOMER FUNDS FROM THE FIRM’S ESCROW ACCOUNTS. BASED IN PART ON THESE DEFICIENCIES, THE FIRM AND ROBINSON FAILED TO DETECT THAT THE REPRESENTATIVE WAS CONVERTING CUSTOMER FUNDS. THE REPRESENTATIVE PERFORMED THE FUNCTIONS OF A PRINCIPAL OF THE FIRM THAT REQUIRED A PRINCIPAL REGISTRATION, WHILE HE WAS NOT SO REGISTERED. THE REPRESENTATIVE ALSO ERRONEOUSLY IDENTIFIED HIMSELF AS A MANAGING PARTNER AND CO-FOUNDER OF THE FIRM ON HIS BUSINESS CARD AND IN FIRM-RELATED EMAILS. ROBINSON KNEW THAT HE WAS ACTING IN SUCH CAPACITIES AND MAKING SUCH REPRESENTATIONS AND THAT THE REPRESENTATIVE WAS NOT REGISTERED AS A PRINCIPAL. ROBINSON APPROVED THE REPRESENTATIVE’S BUSINESS CARD THAT IDENTIFIED HIM AS A MANAGING PARTNER OF THE FIRM.
- Resolution: Acceptance, Waiver & Consent(AWC)
- Sanction Details :: Sanctions: Civil and Administrative Penalty(ies)/Fine(s)
- Sanction Details :: Amount: $45,000.00 Sanctions: Requalification Sanctions: Suspension
- Sanction Details :: Registration Capacities Affected: ANY AND ALL PRINCIPAL CAPACITIES
- Duration: ONE YEAR
- Start Date: 9/16/2013
- End Date: 9/15/2014
- Regulator Statement: WITHOUT ADMITTING OR DENYING THE FINDINGS, ROBINSON CONSENTED TO THE DESCRIBED SANCTIONS AND TO THE ENTRY OF FINDINGS; THEREFORE HE IS FINED $45,000, SUSPENDED FROM ASSOCIATION WITH ANY FINRA MEMBER IN ANY AND ALL PRINCIPAL CAPACITIES FOR ONE YEAR, AND REQUIRED TO REQUALIFY AS A GENERAL SECURITIES PRINCIPAL BY PASSING THE SERIES 24 EXAMINATION PRIOR TO ASSOCIATING WITH ANY FINRA MEMBER FIRM IN ANY PRINCIPAL CAPACITY FOLLOWING THE SUSPENSION. THE SUSPENSION IS IN EFFECT FROM SEPTEMBER 16, 2013, THROUGH SEPTEMBER 15, 2014. ROBINSON UNDERSTANDS THAT THIS SETTLEMENT INCLUDES A FINDING THAT HE FAILED TO SUPERVISE AN INDIVIDUAL WHO VIOLATED SECTION 10(B) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 (EXCHANGE ACT) AND RULE 10B-5 PROMULGATED THEREUNDER AND THAT UNDER ARTICLE III, SECTION 4 OF FINRA’S BY-LAWS, THIS MAKES HIM SUBJECT TO A STATUTORY DISQUALIFICATION WITH RESPECT TO ASSOCIATION WITH A MEMBER. FINE PAID IN FULL ON JUNE 26, 2015.
- Broker Comment: THE ALLEGATIONS IN THE AWC ARISE OUT OF THE CONDUCT OF A FORMER REPRESENTATIVE OF THE FIRM FROM APPROXIMATELY DECEMBER 2009 THROUGH APRIL 2012. THAT REPRESENTATIVE LEFT THE FIRM’S EMPLOY IN JULY 2012. THIS CONDUCT DID NOT RESULT IN ANY LOSSES OF CUSTOMER FUNDS WHILE IN THE FIRM’S CUSTODY, AND NO CUSTOMER HAS FILED ANY CLAIM AGAINST THE FIRM FOR ANY SUCH LOSSES. THE CONVERSION REFERRED TO IN THE AWC RESULTED FROM THE REPRESENATATIVE PAYING HIMSELF A FEE, PURPORTEDLY OWED TO HIM BY THE ISSUER FOR WHICH THE ESCROW WAS BEING MAINTAINED, WITHOUT OBTAINING PROPER AUTHORITY OR FOLLOWING PROPER PROCEDURES. THE CO-MINGLING OF CUSTOMER FUNDS REFERRED TO IN THE FINRA ALLEGATIONS AROSE BECAUSE THE FIRM ENGAGED A LAWFIRM TO HOLD SUCH FUNDS, THE LAWFIRM KEPT SUCH FUNDS IN OMNIBUS ATTORNEY ESCROW ACCOUNT INSTEAD OF IN SEPARATE BANK ACCOUNTS, AND THE FIRM DID NOT DETECT AND RECOGNIZE THIS PRACTICE AS A RULE VIOLATION. THE FIRM HAS REVAMPED ITS PRACTICES IN LIGHT OF FINRA’S INVESTIGATION TO ADDRESS ALL THE MATTERS RAISED BY FINRA’S ALLEGATIONS. MOREOVER, SINCE JULY 2012 THE FIRM HAS COMPREHENSIVELY REVIEWED AND REVISED ITS COMPLIANCE POLICIES AND CONTROL PROCEDURES TO ENSURE THAT THE SUPERVISORY LAPSES ALLEGED IN THE AWC DO NOT REOCCUR, AND HAS SINCE THEN PASSED TWO FINRA AUDITS WITH ONLY MINOR EXCEPTIONS NOTED.
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.
- ECOBAN SECURITIES CORPORATION (CRD#: 29112) :: 11/8/2016 – 6/3/2021 :: NEW ROCHELLE, NY
- MIDDLEBURY SECURITIES LLC (CRD#: 122602) :: 1/2/2003 – 9/27/2016 :: WEYBRIDGE, VT
- AXIOM CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, INC. (CRD#: 26580) :: 1/12/2009 – 4/14/2009 :: NEW YORK, NY
- LAMON & STERN, INC. (CRD#: 10839) :: 7/20/1995 – 8/1/2002 :: ATLANTA, GA
- HACKETT & COMPANY, INC. (CRD#: 2107) :: 4/7/1994 – 7/3/1995 :: SOUTH BURLINGTON, VT
- CAPITAL INSTITUTIONAL SERVICES, INC. (CRD#: 7551) :: 7/21/1987 – 7/3/1989 :: DALLAS, TX
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 James Baldwin Robinson, 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 James Robinson
In order to prevail in an investment fraud lawsuit or FINRA arbitration cases, you must be able to assert a viable ‘cause of action’.
James Baldwin Robinson – 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 (1651804) for the broker – James Baldwin Robinson
- 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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