Thomas Brenner, president of First American Securities (FAS), a broker-dealer, along with another person, allegedly conspired to solicit investment from Brenner’s clients for United RL Capital Services, which was in the business of medical laboratory development financing. Some of the clients made the investment apparently based on assurances from Brenner and his partner that they would get the money back, with interest, after three years, even taking money out from their individual retirement accounts for the purpose. This was in 2015.
This was shared by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio as a seven-count indictment against Brenner and partner was returned by a federal grand jury. Investor money, the Office stated, however, was used for funding Brenner’s lifestyle, and included large payments for a racecar as well as for paying taxes.
In typical Ponzi fashion, Brenner and partner made “sporadic, minimal payments” to investors to make it look like earnings on their investment, especially when queried by investors.
Brenner also did not disclose to the investors he was seeking money from, that:
- The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) was investigating him and his partner, which he should have known since 2015
- He and his partner were related
Charges against Brenner:
- conspiracy to commit mail, wire, and securities fraud
- mail, wire, and securities fraud
- engaging in a monetary transaction in property derived from criminal activity
According to the office of the U.S. Attorney, if convicted, the court will determine Brenner’s sentence “after reviewing of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal records, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation.”
According to his BrokerCheck record, Brenner started his career in the financial services industry in 1986 and appears to have had a chequered career ever since.
He became a registered representative of FAS in 2011. This came to an end in June of 2016 when he was suspended by FINRA in connection with a private placement offering. Disgorgement and fines adding up to $210,000 were also levied on him.
Brenner was barred by FINRA again in 2017. This was in connection with investigations that were being conducted by FINRA into three private placements that were sold to people who “were generally members of Brenner’s hometown community in Ohio, and many of them were seniors,” on account of his refusal to testify in the case.
The same year FAS was expelled from the industry and stopped being a broker-dealer henceforth.
In 2018, Brenner was charged, along with four others, this time by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). This was in connection with a $102 million Ponzi scheme that involved United RL Capital Services, Percipience Global, and First Nationale Solution.