By Debbie Gregory.
A Texas-based Army veteran seems to be living down to his namesake, made infamous by folk rock singer Jim Croce. Leroy Brown Jr. is facing fraud charges after he falsely portrayed himself as a stockbroker and used his military background to defraud investors.
According to a news release from the SEC, Brown has been offering unlicensed stock and securities advice through his company since January 2014, which is a violation of numerous anti-fraud and securities registration provisions.
Just one year after Brown finished 12 years service in the Army, he formed LB Stocks and Trades Advice LLC. This is in direct contradiction to Brown’s Facebook page, which lists him as the CEO and founder since 2004.
The SEC’s complaint charges Brown and LB Stocks and Trades Advice with securities fraud and conducting an unregistered securities offering. The SEC is seeking financial penalties and disgorgement of ill-gotten gains as well as permanent injunctive relief. The court has issued an order temporarily freezing all assets of Brown and LB Stocks and Trades Advice.
“Investment fraud is always wrong, but it’s especially pernicious when perpetrated against those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom,” David Woodcock, director of the SEC’s Fort Worth regional office, said in a statement.
Unfortunately, military life makes those who serve prime targets for financial fraud and scams. Deployments, frequent relocations, and the unique demands of a military lifestyle, make active duty military members and their families appealing to con artists and fraudsters.
Securities laws require brokers, investment advisers, and their firms to be licensed or registered, and to make important information public. But it’s up to the investor to find that information and use it to protect investment dollars. Before you invest or pay for any investment advice, make sure your brokers, investment advisers, and investment adviser representatives have not had disciplinary problems or been in trouble with regulators or other investors. You also should check to see whether they are registered or licensed.
Brown’s office neighbors said he was a kind man. They also said he had several cars, including a big truck, BMW, and Corvette. His namesake, bad, bad Leroy Brown, liked fancy clothes, diamond rings, his custom Continental and his Eldorado too.
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Military Connection: Army Vet Scams Brothers In Arms. : By Debbie Gregory