The law firm of Oakes & Fosher is presently investigating the alleged misconduct of former securities broker Dawn Bennett. Dawn Bennett was a Washington DC based securities broker. She worked in the securities industry for twenty eight years. During her career, she was registered with five different securities firms. She is no longer working as a registered securities broker in any fashion.
- Wheat, First Securities (1987-1996)
- Legg Mason Wood Walker, Incorporated (1996-2006)
- Citigroup Global Markets (2006)
- Royal Alliance Associates (2006-2009)
- Western International Securities (2009-2015)
Dawn Bennett’s publicly available FINRA BrokerCheck report shows that she was sanctioned by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in August 2017. The findings in this matter state that she founded a company called DJB Holdings. After founding the company, she allegedly began offering shares of the unregistered security. According the findings, Bennett raised more than $20 million from at least 46 investors between December 2014 and July 2017. She allegedly did this by making false and misleading statements to the customers regarding the company’s financial condition, the company’s operating performance, the risks associated with the investment, and the way she intended to use capital raised from investors.
According to the findings, after losing a significant portion of the clientele, DJB Holdings was no longer profitable and Dawn Bennett’s personal financial situation began to deteriorate. However, despite this, Dawn Bennett allegedly continued her highly luxurious life style. In order to fund DJB Holdings, Dawn Bennett allegedly decided to create a scheme in which she fraudulently sold notes not actually backed by anything. She allegedly target unsophisticated investors and misrepresented how profitable the company was and even allegedly told these investors that she had the capital to pay annual rates of return as high as fifteen percent. Dawn Bennett also allegedly lied about the extensive liabilities and risk associated with investing in DJB Holdings as well as how the funds would be allocated.
According the SEC findings, Dawn Bennett allegedly used the funds from the new influx of investors to make payments to earlier investors. This action defines Dawn Bennett’s actions as a Ponzi scheme–which is a fraudulent investment scheme where, as opposed to actually generating capital, an individual continuously solicits more and more investments, and then uses new funds to pay distributions for earlier investors. All the while, convincing the victims that the investment is actually successful, and these distributions originated from actual growth of the investment.
In addition to paying these distributions, Dawn Bennett allegedly used this new influx of cash to further fund her luxurious lifestyle. This included; jewelry, high-end clothing, mystics, and a half a million dollar annual ease of a luxury suite at AT&T Studium in Dallas, TX.
Aside from all the allegations above, Dawn Bennett allegedly engaged in even more fraudulent behavior in order to keep this scheme moving. This included; lying to her member firm about the fraudulent notes, receiving multiple loans by fabricating her financial worth, and even replaced previously sold convertible notes with nine-month promissory notes in an attempt to have the promissory notes deemed as loans.
Due to these actions, Dawn Bennett was barred by the Securities and Exchange Commission from acting as a securities broker in any fashion. She was also fined $600,000 and forced to repay $556,102.
According to a Department of Justice press release, Dawn Bennett was convicted on seventeen charges that included conspiracy, securities fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, and making false statements on a loan application.
Oakes & Fosher Can Help
Many investors are unaware of the legal recourse available to them after losing money due to securities broker fraud and/or negligence. The truth is that investors who have lost money in this fashion may actually be entitled to damages.
Oakes & Fosher dedicates its entire legal practice to helping investors across the nation. If you, or someone you know, have lost money investing with Dawn Bennett, please contact Oakes & Fosher for a free and private consultation. Oakes & Fosher handles cases on a contingency basis, which means there are no fees charged unless we collect for you.