Former Geneos Wealth Management financial advisor Bradley Joseph Tennison has been barred by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He has been sentenced to serving supervised probation for 3 years. He also has to pay almost $8.2 million in restitution for his role in the fraud revolving around selling unregistered securities in a supposedly religious and humanitarian project known as The Joseph Project. Tennison pled guilty to the charges.
The Joseph Project and the Fraud Scheme
The Joseph Project, apparently, operated as a pooled investment vehicle and offer of the private placement. It is not a Geneos-approved investment.
Offering himself as the ‘general manager’ of the initiative, he claimed that proceeds of the investments would be channeled to fund humanitarian and faith-based projects. Investors were given to understand that their funds would be invested with banks. Banks would use the proceeds for what he called ‘after-hours trading’ to generate returns. He presented himself as a beneficiary of the scheme, having regularly received monthly returns of 10 percent on his million-dollar investment. With this pitch, Tennison was able to secure 9 investors’ money in these unregistered securities between October 2015 and September 2016.
BrokerCheck profile of Bradley Joseph Tennison
There are five customer disputes on his record, all related to the Joseph Project. Four have been settled, for varying sums between $100K and $400K. A fifth dispute, where the amount claimed is $4.5 million, remains pending.
Tennison was working with Oberlin Financial and First Allied Securities, before joining Geneos 12 years back. It seems that at Oberlin, he allegedly bypassed a supervisor and submitted transaction documents to a product sponsor directly. This was for purchasing loaded mutual funds, with annuity proceeds. He was, reportedly, fired for his transgressions.
Prior to his release in April 2018, Tennison had been working with Geneos for a period of 12 years. The release was an outcome of a complaint by a former Geneos client over a Joseph Project investment. Unsurprisingly, Geneos was unable to trace any record of such an investment; it had never been made through the firm. To add insult to injury, Tennison was “minimally responsive” to their queries about the same, except for claiming that the clients’ funds were not related to an investment.
In July of 2018, Tennison was barred by FINRA. This was for refusing to testify, though he had initially cooperated, on allegations of having recommended a $300,000 investment away from his firm.
In January of 2021, his securities license was revoked by the state of Arizona. He was also ordered to pay a penalty of $75,000.