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Already barred, ex-advisor to NFL players hit with $160K in fresh SEC penalties

A barred former Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley advisor must pay a $160,000 fine to settle SEC charges in the latest case involving his pro athlete clients.

The commission accused Aaron R. Parthemer, 44, of misrepresenting investments to his clients, having undisclosed outside business activities and other misconduct. The SEC started public administrative and cease-and-desist proceedings against Parthemer on Feb. 10, 2017.

This isn’t the first time Parthemer’s actions have resulted in legal or regulatory action. In 2016, former NFL cornerback Asante Samuel of the Atlanta Falcons and Mega Millions lottery winner James Groves filed a FINRA arbitration claim, jointly seeking $7.8 million in damages against Morgan Stanley, related to investment recommendations Parthemer made while a broker at the firm.

This year two NFL players have accused Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley of not keeping a close enough eye on their former employee's conduct. They are seeking $1.8 million in claims.

FINRA barred Parthemer from the industry in 2015 after investigators said he was engaged in a number of undisclosed outside businesses as well as other allegations of misleading and lying to clients.

Parthemer did not respond to requests for comment.

Between 2009 and 2012 Parthemer sold more than $5 million of unregistered, illiquid securities to some of his pro athlete clients in an internet branding company called Global Village Concerns, according to the SEC. The agency also claims that GVC provided Parthemer with stock options and warrants.

“Parthemer’s conduct with respect to the sale of GVC securities occurred outside and independent of his employment with registered broker-dealers. Parthemer misrepresented and omitted material information about the GVC investments to his investment advisory clients, some of which was based on information provided to Parthemer by GVC,” the SEC said in a filing.

The SEC goes on to say that Parthemer did this without verifying any of the information provided to clients. The SEC also claims that Parthemer had “no reasonable basis” to quantify what he told some clients they should be expecting in terms of returns on their GVC investments.

Parthemer was once a National Football League Players Association advisor and also advised other professional athlete clients. However, his NFLPA Advisory registration had lapsed in 2012 and he had continued to represent himself as an NFLPA advisor to current and prospective clients, according to the SEC.

The SEC fine isn’t the only legal issue stemming from Parthemer’s actions. There are two pending arbitration case against firms he was associated with; clients are seeking a combined sum of approximately $8 million.

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