SEC Charges Investment Advisory Firm With Defrauding Retirees
The SEC recently charged Springer Investment Management, Inc. dba Springer Financial Advisors (SFA) and its owner, Keith Springer, with defrauding hundreds of clients, including many retirees.
SFA is an investment advisory firm based in California. The SEC alleges that SFA recommended certain investment products to its clients, for which it received millions of dollars in secret compensation. According to the SEC, not only did SFA fail to disclose its conflict of interest, but it falsely claimed it had none.
The SEC also alleges that SFA took substantial measures to try to hide prior securities-related misconduct committed by SFA’s owner, Keith Springer – including prior SEC charges against him. According to the SEC, SFA went so far as to retain internet search-suppression companies and direct employees not to disclose Springer’s past to potential clients.
The SEC alleges that many retail clients initially learned of SFA through “Smart Money with Keith Springer,” a radio show with SFA’s owner. Springer allegedly misled listeners (i.e., potential clients) that he was picked to host the show due to his industry expertise. According to the SEC, SFA paid to host the show.
Erin E. Schneider, director of the SEC’s San Francisco Regional Office, stated: “Our complaint alleges that Springer actively targeted vulnerable retirees by misleading them about his prominence in the industry and promising to act in their best interests. Investment advisers must be truthful about their background and fully disclose all conflicts of interest.”
The SEC filed its complaint against SFA and Mr. Springer in federal court in California. The SEC has charged SFA and Springer with violating federal securities antifraud provisions and SEC rules regarding advertisements, compliance, and disclosures, among others. The SEC seeks injunctions, disgorgement, and civil penalties.
The Business Trial Group Fights For Investors
Please contact one of our Business Trial Group attorneys at 800-816-1031 if you believe you have a claim relating to the alleged fraud committed by Springer Financial Advisors.
The Business Trial Group at Morgan & Morgan is part of the largest contingency law firm in the nation, with more than 700 lawyers and offices across the country. We help investors recover their financial losses on a contingency basis – meaning we are only paid if we successfully recover money for you. We regularly battle against brokerage firms, investment advisory firms, and banks, and have helped investors recover tens of millions of dollars of investment losses.