The law firm of Oakes & Fosher is presently investigating the alleged misconduct of securities broker James Bashaw. According to his publicly available FINRA BrokerCheck report, James Bashaw has been the subject of multiple customer disputes over the course of his career.

James Bashaw is a Texas based securities broker. He has worked in the securities industry for thirty-three years. During his career, he has been registered with eleven different securities firms.

His Registrations

  • Merrill Lynch (1984-1986)
  • Kidder, Peabody & Co. (1986-1988)
  • Thomas F. White & Co. (1991)
  • First America Equities Corp. (1990-1991)
  • August Securities Corp. (1991-1994)
  • Suntrust Equitable Securities (1994-1998)
  • J.C. Bradford & Co. (1998-2000)
  • UBS Painewebber Inc. (2000-2001)
  • LPL Financial (2001-2014)
  • Wunderlich Securities (2014)
  • International Assets Advisory (2014-Present)

The Allegations

  • In June 1988, a customer alleged that James Bashaw breached his fiduciary duty, churned their account, failed to follow objectives. This case was settled for $200,000 in damages.
  • In April 2012, a customer alleged that UITs purchased on their behalf by James Bashaw were unsuitable. This case was settled for $10,000 in damages.
  • In September 2016, customers alleged that James Bashaw recommended unsuitable investments, borrowed money from them, and executed unapproved private securities transactions including ones involving unsuitable promissory notes . This case was settled for $1.9 million in damages.
  • In April 2019, James Bashaw was officially sanctioned by FINRA. The findings in this matter state that he borrowed approximately $200,000 from a customer without seeking or obtaining approval from his member firm. Due to these alleged actions, he was fined $5,000 and suspended from acting as a securities broker in any fashion for a period of four months.

Private Securities Transactions

Securities brokers are not allowed to engage in any private securities transactions without first disclosing it to their member firms. This is because these types of transactions can often create significant conflicts of interest for securities brokers. Brokers may begin recommending private alternative investments to customers that are financially unsuited for them based on their investment objectives or risk tolerance. It is the securities firm’s job to prevent investors from being harmed by broker conflicts of interest. That is why brokers are supposed to disclose any involvement in these outside activities to their member firm. However, a broker forgoing this procedure of disclosure does not absolve the firm from liability. Securities firms need to have procedures in place designed to adequately monitor their registered brokers and prevent them from engaging in any unauthorized activities.

Promissory Notes

One of the main private investments recommended by James Bashaw was something called the promissory note. These notes are contracts between a lending party and an issuing party. The issuing party “promises” the lending party that a certain amount will be repaid to them–plus interest. Some less than scrupulous securities brokers like to misrepresent these notes as safe and lucrative investments. Investors might be fooled by their securities broker into believing that purchasing these notes is safer than purchasing actual equity as they are promised back a certain amount despite what the value of the security fluctuates to. This notion of safety coupled with the fact that note purchasers are usually promised high interest dividends allows brokers ample opportunity to misrepresent these investments as suitable. However, many of these brokers often fail to disclose that a company’s ability to repay the loan, is entirely dependent upon its success. If a company fails and defaults on the loan, than the purchased note is completely worthless–no different than if the investor had purchased actual equity in the company. Promissory notes are only ever issued by private companies looking to expand in some fashion, which makes them high-risk and illustrates that them being defaulted on is a real possibility.

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 James Bashaw, 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.