On December 10, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) instituted
cease-and-desist proceedings against Walter Francis Grenda, Jr. (CRD# 722911) and the company he jointly
owned, Reliance Financial Advisors, LLC. In July, Grenda submitted an
offer of settlement, which was accepted by the SEC and included a bar
from Grenda ever associating with another broker-dealer again.
According to the SEC, while Grenda was a stockbroker registered with the
firm Mid Atlantic Capital Corporation, Grenda allegedly made false and
misleading statements to his clients in recommending and selling investments
in a risky hedge fund called Prestige Wealth Management Fund, LP (Prestige
Fund). The SEC stated that Grenda sold the Prestige Fund to his long-standing
clients, many of whom were retired or near retirement, on fixed incomes,
and lacked investment knowledge or sophistication. To come up with money
to invest in the Prestige Fund, some of Grenda’s clients allegedly
had to cash in variable annuities, for which they incurred approximately
$290,000 in surrender fees.
According to the cease-and-desist order, Grenda had knowledge of the high
risk involved with investments in the Prestige Fund but still made it
appear to advisory clients that it was less risky. For example, the SEC
said Grenda provided a private placement memorandum to his clients that
included great exaggerations regarding the individual who developed the
strategy coded into the trading platform – an individual who the
SEC said had virtually no trading or investment experience.
The SEC order states that the Prestige fund allegedly took in $8 million
in investments from Grenda’s clients, but did not result in positive
returns as was initially advertised. In approximately October 2012, Grenda
allegedly withdrew his clients from the Prestige Fund, and the Fund collapsed
If you have invested with Walter Francis Grenda, Jr. and lost money as
a result, our securities lawyers at Meyer Wilson may be able to help.
We are currently investigating allegations against Grenda and want to
help you recover your losses. Call us for a
free case evaluation and learn how we may be able to help you take legal action.