The securities fraud attorneys at Malecki Law are interested in hearing from investors who have complaints against stockbroker Paul G. Liebezeit. Mr. Liebezeit is currently registered to sell securities with Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments at the broker-dealer’s Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania office, according to his publicly available BrokerCheck records maintained by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Per his BrokerCheck report, Mr. Liebezeit was previously registered by LPL Financial LLC from December 2010 to October 2014, NRP Financial, Inc. from October 2009 to Determine 2010, and with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney from June 2009 to October 2009.
In 2016, Mr. Liebezeit was fined and suspended from association with any FINRA member broker-dealer for six months by FINRA, after submitting a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent No. 2014043011201 (AWC). According to the AWC, Mr. Liebezeit violated NASD Rule 3040 (Private Securities Transactions of an Associated Person) and FINRA Rule 2010 (Standards of Commercial Honor and Principles of Trade) because from December 2013 to February 2014, Mr. Liebezeit recommended and then facilitated a $1,000,000 investment in a fund that was not approved for sale through LPL Financial. According to the AWC, Mr. Liebezeit did not provide written notice of his participation in the transaction to LPL Financial, and did not obtain LPL’s written approval to participate in the transaction.
Generally speaking, NASD Rule 3040 (which has since been superseded by FINRA Rule 3280) requires that if a broker will be entering into a transaction that has not been previously approved by the broker-dealer, the broker must provide written notice of the transaction and must receive written approval to engage in it from the broker-dealer. If the broker recommends a transaction not approved by the firm, it may be an instance of “selling away.”
According to his BrokerCheck records, Mr. Liebezeit was discharged from LPL Financial LLC on September 5, 2014 amid allegations that a client was given advice regarding a securities investment that was not approved by the firm.
It is vital that securities investments recommended by brokers to their customers be properly disclosed and approved by the employing broker-dealer, because the firm can then perform supervision over the broker and the transaction.