Engaging in private securities transactions has earned financial advisor William LeBoeuf a fine and suspension by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The transactions in question were performed while he was a registered representative initially of Merrill Lynch and then with Cetera.
Private securities transactions of LeBoeuf
According to FINRA, LaBoeuf’s dabbling in private securities transactions dates back to 2017, when he was associated with Merrill Lynch. It involved a client of the firm who also happened to be related to LaBoeuf, who was apparently solicited by him for making an investment in a pooled real estate investment fund.
This was followed by another private securities transaction in 2019, when he had moved to Cetera and involved three customers of the firm. He invested their funds in a convertible promissory note that was issued by a software firm. FINRA has not revealed the identity of the company, referring to it only as ‘Company B.’
The total amount of all the above transactions was in excess of $1 million, as stated in the letter of acceptance, waiver and consent. In none of these cases did LeBoeuf receive prior approval from the firm he was associated with at the time, which was a violation of FINRA rules.
LeBoeuf is also understood to have formed a limited liability company for the purpose of pooling customer funds and investing in the promissory notes of ‘Company B.’ This was in 2019. Once again, prior approvals from his firm were missing.
Though he emailed information regarding the promissory notes to the customers he took money from, FINRA also noted that he allegedly glossed over the inherent risks in the investment, presumably to avoid them backing out.
While he did not directly receive compensation for the investments the customers made, his suspected arrangement with ‘Company B’ whereupon he would receive equity in the firm subject to certain goals being met, tantamounts to it. However, the eventual volume of investments he was able to generate did not qualify him for those rewards, according to the letter of acceptance.
LeBoeuf’s BrokerCheck history
LeBoeuf began his career in the securities industry in 1993, reaching Merrill Lynch in 2009. He registered with their office in Miamisburg, Ohio, eventually leaving in March 2019, voluntarily as it seems.
As per a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent made available by FINRA, he then joined Cetera Advisor Networks, in Beavercreek in Ohio. Allegations of participating in private securities without prior approval led to a discharge by Cetera in December 2020.
Thereafter, he registered with One Resource Group Private Advisor Group in Beavercreek, Ohio as an investment advisor, according to the Investment Advisor Public Disclosure database of the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). This registration came to an end in June 2020.
LeBoeuf has not been known to have registered with any other firm after that.
LeBoeuf’s BrokerCheck profile has no disclosures on record, other than the ones pertaining to the private securities transactions listed above.
LeBoeuf has recently consented to pay a $12,500 fine, as well as a 12-month suspension, without admitting or denying the findings, as informed by FINRA.