The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has sanctioned and permanently barred former Louisiana Financial Advisor Kristian Guadet from the securities industry over allegations that he used client funds for personal use, and failed to testify with regulators. The bar was issued on January 24, 2019.
Kristian M. Gaudet (CRD# 41190811) had been registered with FINRA since 2000, according to FINRA’s online BrokerCheck database. Gaudet was licensed and registered with Ameritas Investment Corp in Cut Off, Louisiana from 2003 to 2018.
According to information made available by FINRA, Ameritas reported suspicions to regulators that Gaudet was involved in fraudulent activities. That filing resulted in a formal FINRA investigation against Gaudet in November 2018.
Following its own internal investigation, Ameritas discharged Gaudet in December 2018, and filed a Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration (Form U5) with FINRA. The filing stated Gaudet was found to have used client funds for personal use.
In response to the filing, FINRA regulators sent Gaudet a request to make an appearance for on-the-record testimony. FINRA says that Gaudet acknowledged he received the request, and informed regulators through an attorney that he would not appear to provide requested testimony at any time.
Gaudet ultimately signed a letter of acceptance, waiver, and consent (AWC) relating to the matter. While consenting to FINRA’s sanctions, Gaudet does not admit or deny FINRA’s findings against him.
As part of the AWC, Gaudet was permanently barred from the securities industry on January 24, 2019. He is no longer a registered with any brokerage firms.
Cases involving investment fraud and misconduct are unfortunately not uncommon, which is why it is so crucially important for investors to carefully vet their broker-advisors and financial professionals using resources like FINRA’s BrokerCheck tool. Because not every “bad broker” has a record of questionable or disciplinary conduct, it is also important to be aware of the common forms of investment misconduct, potential red flags, and your rights as a victim when misconduct causes financial losses.
Many cases of investment fraud involve the misuse and diversion of client funds for a broker’s own personal use through relatively simple means. Broker theft involves financial advisors abusing their positions of trust to steal clients’ money. This may occur when personal checks made out to the broker or an entity controlled by the broker, which are intended for legitimate investments, are instead diverted for the broker’s own personal use, or when brokers make unauthorized withdrawals from clients’ accounts, whether it be through forgery, misrepresentation, or another means of concealment.
Given the trust clients place in their advisors, unscrupulous conduct is often not discovered until substantial losses have occurred. If you suffered losses as a result of an advisor misusing your funds or as a result of any other form of misconduct, our investment fraud attorneys at Meyer Wilson are available to review your potential case, and discuss how we may be able to help you seek a financial recovery.
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