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Cetera Advisors, LLC (“Cetera Advisors”) (CRD# 10299) has many different complaints filed by FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), state regulatory organizations, and investors such as yourself. At the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, we have investigated Cetera Advisors LLC, its regulatory and customer complaints, and have also represented investors with claims of fraud, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty against this organization and its financial advisors.

If you believe you have a claim against Cetera Advisors LLC, you should strongly consider hiring an investment fraud lawyer. You should not wait until it’s too late to file a claim. The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., offers free consultations. Give us a call at 800-732-2889. Let’s discuss your case and see what we can do to help you get the compensation you need and deserve.

Can I Sue Cetera Advisors LLC?

If you’ve lost money caused by Cetera Advisors LLC and/or its employees’ misconduct then the answer is, YES, you can sue Cetera Advisors LLC but the odds are you signed away your right to sue in court and agreed to resolve your dispute in a FINRA arbitration proceeding. Attorney Robert Wayne Pearce has over 40 years of personal experience in FINRA arbitration proceedings and knows very well how you can not only sue Cetera Advisors LLC in FINRA arbitration proceedings, but WIN that arbitration. The easiest way to know if you have a viable case against Cetera Advisors LLC is to call Attorney Pearce at our office at 800-732-2889.

Investment Losses? We Can Help

Discuss your legal options with an attorney at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A.

Get A Free Consultation

or, give us a ring at (800) 732-2889.

Robert Pearce

What is Cetera Advisors LLC?

Cetera Advisors LLC (CRD# 10299) is a registered broker-dealer. It operates as a full-service independent broker-dealer, providing a range of financial products and services to individual investors and financial advisors.

As a registered broker-dealer, Cetera Advisors LLC is subject to regulations and oversight by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). It is required to comply with industry standards and regulations to ensure the protection of its clients’ interests.

A failure to comply with industry standards by either its brokers or the firm itself can result in disciplinary actions, fines, or other penalties imposed by regulatory authorities.

Cetera Advisors LLC Has Many Different Regulatory Problems 

Cetera Advisors LLC’ rapid growth has not been without consequences. There have been approximately 14 state and self-regulatory body disclosure events; that is, final and formal proceedings initiated by a regulatory authority (e.g., a state or federal securities agency like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or self-regulatory body like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for a violation(s) of investment-related rules or regulations. In addition, there have been hundreds of customer complaints filed against Cetera Advisors LLC for misconduct by its securities sales and investment advisory representatives that are not reported by the firm on its Central Depository Record. 

We have reported and written about these regulatory problems and customer complaints over many years. Cetera Advisors LLC is a repeat offender: there are over 14 FINRA-reported disciplinary proceedings citing the firm with one form of supervisory lapses or another.

A Brief Overview of Some of the Regulatory Problems Cetera Advisors LLC Has Faced Over the Years*

Cetera Advisors LLC has been repeatedly censured, warned, and fined multi-millions of dollars for its own misconduct and failure to supervise its army of financial advisors.* A few of the notable FINRA Sanctions for its Supervisory Failures are below:

Alleged Breach of Private Client Information

Brief Overview: Cetera Advisors allegedly violated the Safeguards Rule (Rule 30(A) of Regulation S-P) by failing to protect personally identifiable information. Between November 2017 and June 2020, unauthorized third parties reportedly gained access to email accounts belonging to over 60 personnel across various Cetera entities. This breach resulted in the exposure of sensitive customer information. Cetera consented to a $300,000 fine in response to the alleged incident.

Lack of Supervision Allegations

Brief Overview: Cetera faced allegations of inadequate supervision concerning outside securities transactions conducted by dually registered representatives associated with external advisory firms. According to FINRA, the firm lacked the necessary information to conduct suitability reviews, which assess whether transactions align with customers’ financial goals and risk tolerance. As a consequence, Cetera consented to pay a $150,000 fine.

SEC Complaint: Mutual Fund Fees

Brief Overview: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a complaint on April 29, 2020, accusing Cetera Advisors and Cetera Advisor Networks of prioritizing their financial interests over those of their clients. Brokers at the firms allegedly recommended more expensive mutual fund investments, despite the availability of lower-cost alternatives. Additionally, the complaint alleged that Cetera received undisclosed third-party broker-dealer compensation in exchange for promoting specific mutual funds.

Mutual Fund Fee Repayment

Brief Overview: Cetera agreed to a fine on May 3, 2017, following allegations that the firm failed to inform customers about available discounts for mutual funds. Specifically, the firm was censured and required to provide restitution of at least $628,040 to customers. Such restitution aimed to address the potential impact of not offering discounts on Class A shares of mutual funds when investors purchased shares from the same fund family.


*Above are only some of the regulatory disciplinary actions filed against Cetera Advisors by FINRA. NASSA and other state securities regulator investigations and enforcement actions account for another 12 BrokerCheck disclosures.

Cetera Advisors Customer Complaints

There have been scores of customer complaints filed against Cetera Advisors stockbrokers and investment advisors over the years. We have launched many investigations of current and former Cetera Advisors advisors:

  1. Robert Wolfe of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC
  2. Jeffrey Christenson of Cetera Advisors, LLC
  3. David Rockwell of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  4. Jess Hurst of Cetera Advisors LLC
  5. Billy Martin of Cetera Advisors LLC
  6. Scott Kaup of Cetera Advisor Networks
  7. Patricia Gleason of Cetera Advisors
  8. Clara Tang of Cetera Investment Services, LLC
  9. Isaac Chan of Cetera Investment Services LLC
  10. George Ly of LPL Financial LLC
  11. Diana Plucienkowski of Cetera Advisor Networks
  12. Dennis Reeve of Cetera Investment Services LLC
  13. Daniel McPherson of Cetera Advisors, LLC
  14. Dan Vismor of David Lerner Associates, Inc
  15. Anthony Fazio of Cetera Advisors LLC
  16. Robert Berg of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  17. Kathleen Almulla of Cetera Advisor Networks
  18. Andrew Nguyen of Cetera Investment Services
  19. Barry Debany of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  20. Brandon Williams of LPL Financial LLC
  21. Brian Megley of Cetera Advisors LLC
  22. H. Brock Seibold of LPL Financial
  23. Robert Silverman Formerly With Cetera Financial Specialists
  24. Brian Shey of Green Vista Capital
  25. James Stottlemyre formerly with LPL Financial
  26. Mengxuan Zhang Formerly With Cetera Investment Services
  27. George Merhoff of Cetera Advisors
  28. Nina Jessee of Cetera Advisors, LLC
  29. Francisco Leon of Cetera Investment Services LLC
  30. Ken Balser of Cetera Advisors, LLC
  31. Mark Barrand of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC
  32. Joshua Beitel of Cambridge Investment Research
  33. Nicholas Doyle of Cetera Investment Services
  34. Shawn Everett of Cetera Advisor Networks
  35. Timothy Johnson of Securities America
  36. Harry Hewes of Cetera Investment Services
  37. Rebecca Kettner of Cetera Investment Services
  38. Jason Mikeska of Raymond James Financial Services
  39. Teena Milldebrandt of Cetera Advisor Networks
  40. Russell Nieland formerly with Cetera Advisor Networks
  41. Robert Rogers of Cetera Advisor Networks
  42. Charles Valenzuela Of Cetera Advisor Networks
  43. Peter Stefanic of Cetera Advisors
  44. David Waters of Cetera Advisors
  45. Sandra White of Goldman Sachs & Co.
  46. James Anderson of Cetera Advisor Networks
  47. Marco Azizi of Centaurus Financial
  48. James Bakun formerly with Cetera Advisors
  49. Brent Blaus of Cetera Investment Services
  50. Phillip Bracey of Cetera Advisor Networks
  51. John Broughton of Citizens Securities
  52. Stephen Carver formerly with LifeMark Securities
  53. Gary Meagher of LPL Financial
  54. Gordon Quan of Cetera Advisor Networks
  55. Kerry Farley of Cetera Investment Advisers
  56. James Gibson of Cetera Advisors
  57. Michael David of Cetera Advisor Networks
  58. Richard Klimpt of Cetera Investment Services
  59. Stuart Haw of Cetera Advisors
  60. Kimberley Holweger of Cetera Investment Services
  61. Kirk Knollman formerly with Cetera Advisor Networks
  62. Richard Laskin of Cetera Advisors
  63. Jimmy Maldonado of LPL Financial
  64. Melinda Olbert of Cetera Advisors
  65. Mark Senofonte of Cetera Investment Services
  66. Michael Schwartz of Cetera Advisor Networks
  67. James Story of Cetera Advisor Networks
  68. Leah Brooks of Securities America
  69. Albert Campbell of Cetera Advisor Networks
  70. Nathan Cedarleaf of Cetera Investment Services
  71. Ivan Cen of Cetera Investment Services
  72. Bo Li of Cetera Advisors LLC
  73. Callen Bryan of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  74. Charles Krsek formerly with Cetera Advisors LLC
  75. Daniel Luna of Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC
  76. Daniel Kew of Cetera Investment Services LLC
  77. Darin Arnell of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  78. Erik Larsen of Cetera Investment Services LLC
  79. Frank Parker of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  80. Haiguang Yin of Cetera Investment Services LLC
  81. Hillary Wertlieb of American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc.
  82. Howard Hsieh of Cetera Investment Services LLC
  83. James Franklin Of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  84. Jared Stines formerly with Cetera Investment Services LLC
  85. Jason Comes Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  86. James McKinney, formerly with Cetera Advisors LLC
  87. Jeffrey Meyers of Cetera Investment Advisers LLC
  88. Jerry Gintz of Cetera Advisors LLC
  89. Jonathan Bever of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  90. Kevin McCoy, II of Cetera Investment Services LLC
  91. Kurt Chase of Cetera Investment Services LLC
  92. Larry Kettle, Jr. of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  93. Kevin Fles of Cetera Advisors LLC
  94. Linda Liu of Cetera Investment Services LLC?
  95. Mark Haenny LPL Financial LLC
  96. Who is Mark Militello of Independent Financial Group, LLC
  97. Martin Berman of Cetera Advisors LLC
  98. Matthew Metzger of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  99. Mei Guo of Cetera Investment Services LLC
  100. Meng Ma formerly with Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
  101. Michael Bell of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  102. Mitchell Bornstein formerly with Cetera Investment Services LLC
  103. Nathan Sampler, Sr. formerly with Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  104. Nicholas Russell of Cetera Advisors LLC
  105. Norman Robbins of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC
  106. Paige Matlock formerly with Cetera Investment Services LLC
  107. Peter Rhee of Cetera Investment Advisers LLC
  108. Quinn Vitelli formerly with BB&T Investment Services, Inc.
  109. Qiadong Zhao of Cetera Investment Services LLC
  110. Rebecca Ng-Tsang formerly with Cetera Investment Services LLC
  111. Ronald Metcalf, Jr. of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  112. Ronald Goldberg of Cetera Financial Specialists LLC
  113. Ryan Malloch of Cetera Advisors LLC
  114. Sandy Dorson of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  115. Scott Barber of Securities America, Inc.
  116. Sheldon Bender formerly with Cetera Financial Specialists LLC
  117. Shuhong Rong formerly with Cetera Investment Services LLC
  118. Stephen Lawler of Cetera Advisors LLC
  119. Wayne Smith of Cetera Advisors LLC
  120. Todd Anderson formerly with Formerly With Benchmark Investments, LLC
  121. Victor Aponte-Echevarria of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  122. Blake Bolden of Cetera Investment Services LLC
  123. David Casparian of LPL Financial LLC
  124. Austin Fox formerly with Cetera Investment Services LLC
  125. Mark Davis II of The Huntington Investment Company
  126. Adam Marquardt formerly with Cetera Advisors LLC
  127. John Massa formerly with Cetera Investment Services LLC
  128. Rebecca Ng-Tsang formerly with Cetera Investment Services LLC
  129. Clarence Patton, Jr. formerly with Alexander Capital, L.P.
  130. Robert Burns of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  131. Rami Sassoon of Cetera Advisors LLC
  132. Michael Shonsey of Brokers International Financial Services, LLC
  133. Yin Zhong of NI Advisors
  134. Thomas Brennan, III of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  135. Timothy Farris of Cetera Advisors LLC
  136. William O’Brien Of Cetera Advisors LLC
  137. Scott Oliphant of Cetera Advisors LLC
  138. Edward Rosenblatt of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  139. John Strickler of Cetera Investment Services LLC
  140. Spencer Warn of Cetera Investment Services LLC
  141. Tim Weinberg of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  142. Nathan Wells of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  143. Edward Barfield of Geneos Wealth Management, Inc.
  144. Gina Francisco of LPL Financial LLC
  145. Colin Kelty of Cetera Investment Services LLC
  146.  Randall Mason of Cetera Advisors LLC
  147. Kevin Adam of Cetera Advisors LLC
  148. Bradley Behrendt of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  149. Andrew Pandis of Cetera Investment Services LLC
  150. Mai Nguyen of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  151. Andrew Lofton of Cetera Investment Services LLC
  152. Trey Toifel of Cetera Investment Services LLC
  153. William Hutchingson of Cetera Investment Services LLC
  154. Holland of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  155. Patrick Groarke of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  156. Joseph Allen formerly with Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  157. Chad Anderson of Cetera Advisors LLC
  158. Xiangyu Zhang formerly with Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC
  159. Dave Hutchison of Cetera Advisors LLC
  160. Derek McLean of Cetera Advisors LLC
  161. Casey Walker of Cetera Advisor Networks LL
  162. Rick Harbus of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC
  163. Joseph Hobbs of Cetera Investment Networks LLC
  164. Peter Pace of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC

If you have lost money investing with any of these Cetera Advisors advisors or others within this brokerage firm, it’s important that you reach out to an investment loss attorney quickly because the statutes of limitations can bar your claims. Call us at 800-732-2889.

Why Does Cetera Advisors LLC Have So Many Regulatory Problems And Customer Complaints?

Independent broker-dealers are notorious for their lax supervisory practices and procedures. The business model of these franchise type operations is to open many offices nationwide for steady growth of fixed monthly revenues without the costs attendant to a full-service branch office with on-site manager, compliance officer and operation personnel. The registered representatives of these independent broker-dealers generally operate as separately incorporated businesses. They are not employees of the broker-dealer and therefore not controlled in the same manner as full-service brokerage firm representatives. The registered representatives control their structure and costs to maximize profits and often leave the protection of investors’ rights and interests as their lowest priority.

The typical supervisory organization of independent broker-dealer operations is to have other independent contractors operate Offices of Supervisory Jurisdiction (OSJs) to monitor the registered representatives from geographically remote offices and then report to the main franchisor’s compliance office at national headquarters. The supervisors at the OSJs are not employees of the franchisor and often run their own brokerage, insurance and other businesses. They are not devoted full-time supervisors of the smaller branch offices. Consequently, OSJ managers cannot and do not supervise the day-to-day operations of the registered representatives of these Independent broker-dealers. 

Generally, there is no immediate review of new accounts opened, securities transactions, business records, cash or securities receipts and deliveries, correspondence and business activities unrelated to the securities brokerage operation at these independent brokerage firms. The lax supervision leaves investors who have transferred their accounts to the smaller independent broker-dealer vulnerable to sales of securities that have not been reviewed or authorized by anyone other than the sales representative earning a commission. There may be no one onsite to detect forgeries of clients’ signatures on documents, the placement of inaccurate information about a client’s investment objectives and financial condition to document the suitability of a particular investment recommendation. Oftentimes there is no daily review of sales literature and client correspondence to protect against misrepresentations and misleading statements being made to investors. In fact, it is not unusual for there to be only one compliance audit visit per year at many of these offices.

These Independent brokerage business operations are worrisome to the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), which has documented more instances of sales abuse and consequently investor losses at these firms than the traditional brokerage firms with branch offices with on-site managers and compliance personnel.

Did Cetera Advisors Advisor Misconduct Cause You Investment Losses?

When financial advisor misconduct has caused you to lose substantial value to your investment accounts, you have the right to seek reimbursement from the responsible parties. Cetera Advisors LLC is responsible like any employer for its financial advisors acts and omissions. In addition, it has an independent duty to supervise its stockbrokers and investment advisors. These cases can be extremely complex, and so having the support of a reputable attorney who is experienced in recovering investment losses for investors is key to your success. Many customers make the mistake of contacting Cetera Advisors LLC without representation with an attorney about their complaints and have their complaints denied.

Related Read: Can You Sue Your Brokerage Firm?

Investment Losses? We Can Help

Discuss your legal options with an attorney at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A.

Get A Free Consultation

or, give us a ring at (800) 732-2889.

Robert Pearce

Consult With An Attorney Who Recovers Investment Losses Caused By Cetera Advisors LLC Today!

The investment loss attorneys at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., have helped countless investors over the last 40 years recover the losses from their investment accounts that were caused by broker negligence or misconduct. The firm has extensive experience with Cetera Advisors LLC cases, and Attorney Pearce is committed to seeing that those responsible for the losses you have suffered are held fully accountable.

Give us a call at 800-732-2889. Let’s discuss your case and see what we can do to help you get the compensation you need and deserve.

Author Photo

Robert Wayne Pearce

Robert Wayne Pearce of The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. has been a trial attorney for more than 40 years and has helped recover over $170 million dollars for his clients. During that time, he developed a well-respected and highly accomplished legal career representing investors and brokers in disputes with one another and the government and industry regulators. To speak with Attorney Pearce, call (800) 732-2889 or Contact Us online for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION with Attorney Pearce about your case.

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