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FINRA bars ex-indie advisor over $7M in private securities sales

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A former advisor with hybrid RIA firm United Planners' Financial Services of America was ousted from the industry this week for allegedly selling more than $7 million in private securities without notifying his employer, according to his settlement with FINRA.

Jerry Guttman of Phoenix, Arizona, was not permitted to participate "in any manner in private securities transactions" without prior written notice to his firm, the regulator said.

Guttman, a broker with more than 26 years' experience, purportedly sold membership interests in at least six limited liability companies to 31 firm customers and seven non-firm customers from September 2008 through May 2017. He solicited investors and communicated with them about their investments, the regulator claimed. He also allegedly drafted, distributed and collected the investment agreements from each investor, collected and deposited their checks into the companies' bank accounts and managed the companies as one of only two managing members.

Guttman, who now works for Phoenix wealth management firm Guttman Financial Group, said he had no comment. "It's a long story, and I don't want to get into it. Unfortunately, sometimes less is better," he said.

He agreed to the bar without admitting or denying the allegations against him, according to the settlement.

Guttman was discharged from United Planners' in September 2017 for offering clients and the public an unapproved investment, according to a note from the firm in his BrokerCheck report. He had been with United Planners since October 2001.

While at United Planners, Guttman was engaged in numerous business ventures as either a proprietor, partner, officer, director, employee, trustee, or agent, including Guttman Financial Group, Guttman Tax Advisors Group and Serenity Management, a business operation of cemeteries, according to BrokerCheck.

United Planners did not return a message seeking comment on his expulsion.

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