Last week, the SEC brought
cease and desist proceedings against former broker Howard D. Richards (CRD# 2172691) for
engaging in securities fraud. During the relevant period, Richards was
a licensed stockbroker registered with the brokerage firm Cambridge Investment
Research, Inc. and doing business under the investment advisory firm Securus
Wealth Management, LLC.
During the relevant period, Richards allegedly participated in a market
manipulation scheme to support the price of stock in a start-up company
called Gatekeeper USA, Inc. From 2008 through 2009, Richards allegedly
bought a large amount of Gatekeeper stock for himself. During that same
period, the SEC alleged that Richards purchased around $900,000 in shares
of Gatekeeper for his clients.
Then, the SEC alleged, Richards kept buying Gatekeeper’s stock on
a discretionary basis in his clients’ accounts in order to prevent
the price of Gatekeeper from declining. From approximately January 2010
through July 2013, Richards allegedly caused an additional $1.1 million
of Gatekeeper shares to be purchased by his clients. Richards agreed to
the SEC’s sanctions, including a bar from association with any brokerage
firm in the future.
In separate cease and desist proceedings against Richards’ direct
supervisor James D. Goodland (CRD# 2385266) and Securus Wealth Management,
LLC, the SEC alleged that Goodland failed to act on red flags generated
by Richards’ misconduct. Allegedly, Goodland had bi-weekly meetings
with Richards and Richards had told Goodland about the Gatekeeper shares
and Richards’ strategy of purchasing Gatekeeper stock in client
portfolios. Because of these supervisory failures, Goodland has agreed
to a bar from working in a supervisory or compliance capacity in the future.
If you invested with Howard Richards of Securus Wealth Management and lost
money, we invite you to contact the securities fraud attorneys at Meyer
Wilson today for a
free review of your case so that you can learn your legal rights and options.