Advisor Group firm’s settlement pushes regulatory payouts over $18M

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By: Tobias Salinger

Advisor Group’s FSC Securities has paid the network’s largest regulatory settlement in at least two years after agreeing to a $5.7 million payout in connection with a fired and barred former advisor.

Barry G. Hartman sold his clients unsuitable products, as well as private securities that became worthless when a financial firm he beneficially owned closed its doors, according to the Montana Securities Department. Hartman and the firm, Invizeon, later filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection…

The firm’s bankruptcy application lists it as a finance or insurance firm. Reports from clients, FSC’s Form U5 termination filing and several arbitration cases resulted in the investigation by Montana regulators into Invizeon and Hartman, says Deputy Securities Commissioner Lynne Egan.

“The positions were not held at FSC Securities,” Egan says. “If your money seems to be leaving the firm and going elsewhere, it could be a red flag.”

Egan declines to state further details about the Invizeon offering or any possible criminal referral of Hartman’s case. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Montana said she could not confirm or discuss any criminal investigations.

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