Brett S. Briggs Review Summary
If you are in the market for a good financial advisor or firm, then avoid Brett S. Briggs at all costs. Previous clients have reported and complained about serious financial damages and/or fraud. Brett S. Briggs is also under FINRA’s radar. Previously FINRA has uncovered well-reputed firms and advisors to be guilty of shocking crimes, which include but are not limited to:
- Siphoning Of Client’s Funds
- Dereliction of Duty
Nefarious Background Of Brett S. Briggs (CRD)
Briggs first registered with a FINRA member as a General Securities Representative in
March 1984. Between January 1985 and January 2008, Briggs was registered in various
capacities with numerous FINRA members. Between January 2008 and August 2017,
Briggs was registered as a General Securities Representative, General Securities
Principal, and General Securities Sales Supervisor with Financial West Group, a former
FINRA member.1 Since August 2017, Briggs has been registered in various capacities
with another FINRA member.
1 FINRA expelled Financial West Group from FINRA membership in February 2020 for failure to file numerous financial reports required under FINRA’s rules.
Criminal Activity(s) Reported – Brett S. Briggs
This matter originated from FINRA’s 2016 cycle examination of Financial West.
NASD Rule 3010(a) and FINRA Rule 3110(a) require that each member establish and
maintain a system to supervise the activities of each associated person that is reasonably
designed to achieve compliance with the applicable securities laws and regulations, and
with NASD and FINRA Rules. FINRA Rule 2360(b)(20)(C) requires that members
provide principal supervisory review of options trading in customer option accounts,
including, but not limited to: (i) the compatibility of options transactions with investment
objectives and with the types of transactions for which the account was approved; (ii) the
size and frequency of options transactions; (iii) commission activity in the account; (iv)
profit or loss in the account; and (v) undue concentration in any options class or classes.
The requirement to supervise includes the duty to investigate red flags that suggest
misconduct may be occurring and to reasonably act upon the results of such investigation.
Briggs’s Failure to Supervise
Between December 2013 and July 2017, Briggs served as the designated Office of
Supervisory Jurisdiction (OSJ) Supervisor and OSJ Manager (collectively, OSJ
Supervisor) of the Brentwood OSJ office of Financial West. In these capacities, Briggs
was responsible for supervising the Brentwood registered representatives, including four
representatives who have since been barred for trading misconduct. Financial West’s
written supervisory procedures (WSPs), among other things, required Briggs, as the OSJ
Supervisor, to review the transactions of these four representatives to ensure the
suitability of the transactions they recommended to customers.
Between December 2013 and July 2017, when Briggs was the OSJ Supervisor for
Financial West’s Brentwood OSJ office, he failed to reasonably supervise the four
representatives notwithstanding multiple red flags that should have prompted greater
scrutiny of the representatives’ trading activities by Briggs, but did not. Despite the red
flags, Briggs failed to further investigate the potential trading misconduct which was
suggestive of both excessive trading and qualitatively unsuitable recommendations
involving options, low-priced securities, and Non-Traditional ETPs.
In December 2013, a Financial West compliance principal specifically informed Briggs
of red flags indicative of excessive trading in the accounts of customers assigned to two
of the four representatives. In addition, between January 2014 and November 2016, there
were additional red flags that should have prompted Briggs to investigate specific trading
activity by the four representatives in the nine customer accounts, including:
the accounts repeatedly appearing on the Monthly Account Supervision exception
reports and reflecting high annualized turnover rates and a high number of
transactions suggestive of excessive trading;
the daily trade blotter for the representatives’ transactions, reflecting their daily
trading volume, and high daily and year-to-date commissions being charged to
in-and-out trading in the customers’ accounts;
investment objectives for the customers’ accounts that were inconsistent with the
short-term trading activity in the accounts;
inverse and/or leveraged ETF positions remaining in accounts for multiple
trading in certain customer accounts involving short-term trading in low-priced
options trading in one customer account by one representative that was
speculative and inconsistent with the customer’s investment objectives and risk
sustained losses due to the representatives’ excessive trading in all nine customer
In the face of this information indicative of violative trading practices, Briggs acted
unreasonably by failing to further scrutinize the conduct of the four representatives.
Briggs was aware of but failed to, investigate and address specific red flags indicating
trading misconduct suggestive of excessive trading and qualitatively unsuitable
recommendations, in violation of FINRA’s suitability rules, including the suitability rules
relating to options trading.
For example, in March 2016, the Financial West compliance principal notified Briggs of
red flags suggesting that an unsuitable double-leveraged ETF position was being held in a
customer’s account for multiple trading sessions (for an account with investment
objectives that included capital appreciation, income, and capital preservation). Briggs,
however, acted unreasonably by failing to investigate and curtail the misconduct. As a
result, the customer’s account held this unsuitable double-leveraged ETF position for
over 520 days, from February 2016 until July 2017.
For the above reasons, Briggs failed to reasonably supervise the trading activities of the
four representatives in the Brentwood OSJ office by ignoring and not reasonably
responding to numerous red flags suggestive of excessive trading and qualitatively
As the OSJ Supervisor, Briggs profited from the excessively traded, and qualitatively
unsuitable transactions executed by the four representatives in the nine customer accounts
through his receipt of commission overrides and ticket credits. Briggs’s bi-monthly
commission records reflected the commission override amounts and ticket credit amounts
he received from the customers on all trades that the four representatives executed in their
respective accounts. Specifically, between January 2014 and November 2016, Briggs
received commission override amounts ranging from 15% to 40% on the gross amounts
charged for each transaction executed by three of the representatives in eight customer
accounts, and a $2 ticket credit for each trade, which, collectively, totaled $52,432.81.
Therefore, Briggs violated NASD Rule 3010(a), and FINRA Rules 3110(a), 2360(b)(20),
A bar from associating with any FINRA member in any principal capacity;
A $20,000 fine; and
Partial restitution in the amount of $52,432.81,8
plus interest, as described below.
Respondent agrees to pay the monetary sanctions upon notice that this AWC has been
accepted and that such payments are due and payable. Respondent has submitted an
Election of Payment form showing the method by which he proposes to pay the fine
Partial restitution is ordered to be paid to the customers listed on Attachment A hereto in
the total amount of $52,432.81, plus interest at the rate set forth in Section 6621(a)(2) of
the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 6621(a)(2), from December 1, 2016, until the
date this AWC is accepted by the National Adjudicatory Council (NAC).
Respondent shall submit satisfactory proof of payment of restitution and prejudgment
interest (separately specifying the date and amount of each paid to each customer listed
on Attachment A) or of reasonable and documented efforts undertaken to effect
restitution. Such proof shall be submitted by email to [email protected].
The email must identify Respondent and the case number and include a copy of the
check, money order, or other method of payment. This proof shall be provided by email
to [email protected] no later than 120 days after the date of the notice of
acceptance of the AWC.
If for any reason Respondent cannot locate any customer identified in Attachment A after
reasonable and documented efforts within 120 days after the date of the notice of
acceptance of the AWC, or such additional period agreed to by FINRA in writing,
Respondent shall forward any undistributed restitution and interest to the appropriate
escheat, unclaimed property, or abandoned property fund for the state in which the
customer is last known to have resided. Respondent shall provide satisfactory proof of
such action to FINRA in the manner described above, within 14 calendar days of
forwarding the undistributed restitution and interest to the appropriate state authority.
Respondent specifically and voluntarily waives any right to claim an inability to pay, now
or at any time hereafter, the monetary sanctions imposed in this matter.
The imposition of a restitution order or any other monetary sanction herein, and the
timing of such ordered payments, does not preclude customers from pursuing their own
actions to obtain restitution or other remedies.
Respondent understands that if he is barred or suspended from associating with any
FINRA member in a principal capacity, he becomes subject to a statutory disqualification
as that term is defined in Article III, Section 4 of FINRA’s By-Laws, incorporating
Section 3(a)(39) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Accordingly, Respondent may
not be associated with any FINRA member in a principal capacity, during the period of
the bar or suspension. See FINRA Rules 8310 and 8311. Furthermore, because
Respondent is subject to a statutory disqualification during the principal bar, if he
remains associated with a Member Firm in a non-barred capacity, an application to
continue that association may be required.
Penalty For The Terrible Crimes
Recent Illegal Activity(s)Of The Individual/Firm
Between December 2013 and July 2017, while registered with Financial West, Briggs
failed to supervise four former Financial West registered representatives, who
excessively traded and recommended qualitatively unsuitable trades involving options,
low-priced securities, and Non-Traditional Exchange Traded Products (ETPs)6
accounts belonging to five customers. Briggs failed to investigate red flags indicative of
trading misconduct and take appropriate action in a manner reasonably designed to
ensure that the representatives acted in compliance with FINRA rules. As a result, Briggs
violated NASD Rule 3010(a), and FINRA Rules 3110(a), 2360(b)(20), and 2010.7
Briggs has been a Respondent in two separate FINRA disciplinary matters. In 1991,
Briggs consented to an AWC for a net capital-related violation, in which he consented to
a censure, and a joint fine of $5,000 with other respondents.2
In 1994, Briggs, consented to an Offer of Settlement, also for a net capital-related violation, in which he consented to a censure, a six-month suspension in a principal capacity, and a $10,000 fine.3 In addition, on November 30, 1993, the Indiana Securities Division issued a final decision denying Briggs’s request to become a registered agent;4 and on May 18, 1994, the Ohio Division of Securities issued a decision denying Briggs’s application for a salesman’s
license based upon his disciplinary history.5
How To Spot A Fraud Finance Advisor (Infographic)
Help For Victims Of Brett S. Briggs
If you have lost funds because of misrepresentation, unsuitable investment, or unsuitable investment strategy from Brett S. Briggs. Then you can take legal action and get justice. Fraud, Malpractice & dereliction of duty should not be taken lightly, especially in this industry. We highly suggest that you notify authorities or seek legal action if your financial advisor or brokerage firm fails to abide by FINRA’s rules are regulations.
Financial advisors are regulatory & legally obligated to suggest (recommend) the most suitable investments/investment strategies to their clients. Their suggestions should have their client’s best interests and should be appropriate for their client’s goals and needs. Similarly, the brokerage firm which hires financial advisors also has a regulatory & legal obligation to keep a close watch and supervise their Financial Advisors’ practices & behavior. They need to make sure that the financial advisor is not being manipulative or having an unreasonable bias towards certain investments. If the financial advisor and/or the brokerage firm breaches these duties, then the client/customer may be entitled to a full or partial recovery of their losses.
Financial advisors need to have the interest of their clients when giving suggestions related to investments and investment strategies. Reasonable basis suitability requires the advisor to do their best to analyze & identify the risks and rewards associated with their suggested investment and/or investment strategy.This review (Brett S. Briggs) was originally published at Gripeo. To read the full review, go to – www.gripeo.com/brett-s-briggs/