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FINRA Bars Michael D. Shaw from the Securities Industry for Improper Sales of Private Placements

By October 20, 2011September 20th, 2017News

On October 20, 2011, advisor Michael D. Shaw of VSR Financial Services, Inc. submitted a letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA “) to settle alleged rule violations relating to the sale of private placement investments to customers.  Specifically, Shaw was accused of making misrepresentations in connection with the sales of private placements and unsuitable recommendations of private placement to customers.  He was also accused of falsifying customer account documents by overstating net worth and changing his customer’s risk profiles in order to sell them the investments.

The allegations concern sales of several private placements, including Odyssey Diversified VI; Arciterra Note Fund III, and Odyssey Diversified Notes IX.  Each of these were high risk and illiquid investments suitable only for accredited investors.  Shaw was accused of pitching these products to ineligible investors and of concentrating the vast majority of some customers’ portfolios into these risky investments without any reasonable basis for Shaw’s recommendations.  Shaw was also accused of intentionally misinforming his customers that these high risk and highly speculative investments were safe and secure.

As a result of the letter, Shaw accepted a finding that he willfully violated SEC rules and Shaw received a lifetime bar from associating with any securities firm in any capacity.  Since March 2009, Shaw has been subject to twenty-one separate customer complaints, many of them seeking damages for unsuitable sales of private placements.

If you purchased high risk and illiquid private placement investments from Shaw, you may have a claim.  Lawyers at Fishman Haygood have considerable experience prosecuting and trying claims of inappropriate sales of private placement products in FINRA arbitrations.


Fishman Haygood represents investors who have suffered investment losses in claims against their brokers or financial advisors. Our experienced attorneys have brought securities fraud cases in state and federal courts across the nation, as well as in FINRA arbitration. We work to help investors recoup their losses.

Of course, all cases are different. For that reason, we analyze each client’s matter individually and provide our personalized evaluation only after considering all of the facts and circumstances of all possible claims. If you or someone you know is the victim of securities fraud, please contact a Fishman Haygood lawyer today.

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