Mark Lamkin (Carlton & Associates) Suspended – Investor Notice

Carlton & Associates | Mark Lamkin | LPL Financial- Investigation For Investor Fraud

Mark Lamkin was registered LPL Financial LLC (2001-2018) and with Calton & Associates, Inc. (2018 to present) in Louisville, KY.  According to the Financial Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck (as of May 2020), Mr. Lamkin has been the subject of 7 disclosures and is currently suspended by FINRA from acting as a financial advisor.

In 2000, Mr. Lamkin’s Brokercheck record discloses an employment separation issue related to what appears to be a voluntary resignation from PNC Brokerage involving a transfer of funds between Mr. Lamkin and a work associate that Mr. Lamkin apparently failed to report to management.

In 2018, a customer dispute alleged Mr. Lamkin recommended excessive levels of annuities, misrepresented or failed to disclose material facts, unsuitable product recommendations and alteration of account profiles.  This matter was settled.

In 2018, Mr. Lamkin’s Brokercheck record discloses another employment separation issue related to what appears to be a discharge from LPL Financial, LLC related to allegations involving a benefit from load from firm customers, failure to disclose and inadequate disclosure of outside business activity, and solicitation of investors to participate in private investments without firm approval.

In 2019, a customer dispute alleged misrepresentation.  That matter appears to have been settled.

Later in 2019, another customer dispute disclosure alleges misrepresentation and unsuitable investment recommendations.  That matter remains pending.

Also in 2019, a Kentuck state securities regulatory disclosure refers to an issue involving Mr. Lamkin potentially receiving broker-dealer and advisory services that he was not entitled to receive or commission sharing.  Mr. Lamkin requested a hearing and the matter remains pending.

In early 2020, A FINRA Acceptance, waiver & Consent (AWC) neither admitting nor denying the facts alleged resulted in a three-month suspension, a fine, and alleged Mr. Lamkin borrowed a total of $1.265 million from a customer without notifying his firm or obtaining the firm’s written approval.  There was allegedly a $740,000 promissory note (first loan), a $250,000 (second loan), and $275,000 (third loan), some of which supposedly had been repaid.   Mr. Lamkin supposedly also falsely affirmed in an annual compliance questionnaire that he nor any related person or entity had borrowed or loaned any money or securities from or to any another individual or entity.

What is “Selling Away” – Carlton & Associates | Mark Lamkin | LPL Financial?

While the issues relating to Mr. Lamkin are more directly related to rules and regulatory policies involved in making loans to/from non-family member customers.  When promissory notes are being exchanged for funds received by the financial advisor, it brings up some potential “selling away” issues.  Although it does not appear to be the case here, selling away is when a financial advisor recommends the purchase of an investment not held, approved, or offered by the brokerage firm.  Without that approval process, the investments have not been subject to due diligence review or screening process.  Investments sold away from the firm commonly include promissory note private investment deals that are also structured as a loan, but outside and away from the brokerage firm’s approved investment products.  These investments run the risk of financial advisors selling (at best) investments with little or no due diligence, and generally outside and away from the brokerage firm’s control, supervision, or compliance efforts.  More often, it could involve, at worst, fraudulent investments.

Financial advisors and stockbrokers have a legal and regulatory obligation to recommend only suitable investments that are appropriate for their individual clients. Their supervising FINRA-registered broker-dealer has a legal and regulatory obligation to supervise the investment-related activities of its financial advisor or stock broker including investment sales practices. To the extent that any of these duties are breached, the customer may be entitled to a recovery of his investment losses.

The sole purpose of this notice is to investigate the potential sales practice and supervision issues related to any investment sold away by Mark Lamkin while under the control, supervision, and subject to compliance policies and procedures of LPL Financial LLC and Calton & Associates, Inc.  If you have personal knowledge or experience relating to those issues, please contact our office at 561-585-000, or email us at [email protected].

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