A former broker based in South Carolina who racked up dozens of investor complaints from alleged sales of unsuitable, non-liquid and high-priced investments is no longer in the country, according to multiple sources.
The broker, James T. Flynn, was barred from the securities industry in 2018 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. after he failed to cooperate with its investigation, according to his BrokerCheck report, which tallies 64 disclosure events, including dozens of investor complaints settlements and a tax lien.
According to a report earlier this week in The Post and Courier of Greenville, Flynn is “believed to be living outside the country,” and he has been the target of 57 investor complaints since 2013, of which 25 have been settled for a total of more than $3.5 million. Twenty-one investor lawsuits remain pending and are currently going through the stages of Finra arbitration.
“It’s something his ex-wife told me,” Connor Hughes, the Post and Courier reporter who has been chronicling investors’ lawsuits against Flynn, said of the information that Flynn is outside the U.S.
“We have heard from six or seven clients or former employees that Flynn is located in the Dominican Republic,” said Chetan S. Patil, an attorney representing several clients with investor complaints. “He called me a year ago and did a poor job of defending his loading clients up with nontraded [real estate investment trusts] and flipping to variable annuities.”
It’s not clear what impact a broker’s leaving the country could have on the outcome of any investor lawsuits that are ongoing, but it draws attention to the matter and is certainly unusual.
“Flynn had hundreds and hundreds of clients, and we represent dozens of them at this point,” Patil said. “Many were given blank account forms, and Flynn and team filled them in with false information.”
Voya Financial Advisors Inc. “discharged” or fired Flynn in February 2017 for allegedly giving the firm misleading information during an investigation that involved variable annuities, according to BrokerCheck. He then moved to IFS Securities Inc., which is now defunct, and was fired from that firm a year later for allegedly making inappropriate trades involving a variable annuity.
Several complaints filed against Flynn over the summer listed Voya Financial Advisors as the firm where he worked when the alleged misconduct occurred.
A spokesperson for Voya Financial Advisors, Laura Maulucci, wrote that Flynn was “no longer an adviser” with the firm but did not comment about his whereabouts.
Flynn could not be reached for comment.
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