NEWARK, NJ - Gary Scheer, managing member and sole investment adviser representative of Retirement Financial Advisors, LLC in Morristown sold more than $12 million of unregistered securities in New Jersey, including investments tied to Ponzi schemes and other fraudulent investment scams, announced Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Consumer Affairs.
The New Jersey Bureau of Securities has revoked Sheer's registration and assessed him $750,000 in civil penalties.
Scheer's biography on Yelp claims he is a "nationally recognized Financial Educator, Author, Speaker and Retirement Planner whom you may have seen on NBC, CBS, ABC, Pix 11News, News 12 NJ and Annuity123, EzineArticles.com and Fortune. As the co-author of Successonomics with Steve Forbes, the All-In Principal, and Alligator Proofing Your Estate, Gary has been interviewed by William Shatner on Moving America Forward, and has been featured on In America with James Earl Jones. As Founder and Managing Member, Gary and his team at Gary Scheer, LLC have been showing business owners, professionals and executives how to protect and pass on their wealth for over 30 years", the biography stated.
According to authorities, Scheer recommended and sold unregistered securities in seven different investments to at least 50 investors over eight years. The sales from these investments generated more than $600,000 in commission, they stated.
Six of the seven investments Scheer recommended ultimately were determined by federal and/or state authorities to be fraudulent, announced the Attorney General's Office. As a result of Scheer’s conduct, investors were defrauded of their hard-earned savings. In the Summary Penalty and Revocation Order (“the Order”) issued by the Bureau, the Bureau Chief found that Scheer breached his fiduciary duty and violated the New Jersey Securities Law.
“Investment advisers are expected to serve the interests of their customers with undivided loyalty, and not exploit them for financial gain,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We will not allow unscrupulous professionals to undermine the integrity of New Jersey’s financial industry by enriching themselves at the financial expense of their customers.”
According to the Order, Scheer violated the law by, among other things:
- selling unregistered securities;
- acting as an unregistered agent in the sale of those securities;
- omitting or making material misrepresentations of the risks associated with the investments;
- breaching his fiduciary duty by failing to conduct adequate due diligence before making the investment recommendations; and
- breaching his fiduciary duty by failing to disclose significant conflicts of interest that were created by virtue of the undisclosed commissions being paid to him.
Scheer continued to advise customers to purchase unregistered securities even after he became aware that prior unregistered securities he recommended had come under regulatory scrutiny due to the issuers’ failures to register their securities and their fraudulent conduct, according to the Bureau’s findings.
“Scheer’s conduct represents an egregious breach of the fiduciary duty he owed to his customers,” said Paul R. Rodríguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “His actions resulted in serious financial consequences for investors, who are now left with the devastating impact of trying to recover their investments.”
Investors can obtain information, including the registration status and disciplinary history, of any financial professional doing business to or from New Jersey, by contracting the Bureau toll-free within New Jersey at 1-866-I-INVEST (1-866-446-8378) or from outside New Jersey at 973-504-3600, or by visiting the Bureau's website.