Former VSR Financial Services, Inc. Financial Advisor John Howard Towers has been the subject of over 25 recent customer complaints, according to a review of his FINRA BrokerCheck Report.
According to BrokerCheck, Towers has settled 16 customer complaints since 2011, and currently has 10 complaints pending against him. These include two July 2015 complaints alleging breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and negligence misrepresentation, which seek $1.5 million and $600,000 in damages respectively.
On December 18, 2013, Towers entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (“AWC”) with FINRA in which he consented to a $25,000 fine and a three-month suspension relating to allegations that he placed clients in high risk investments – private placements and REITs – despite their request for moderate-risk investments.
According to the AWC, Towers ignored VSR’s internal guidelines for pricing the alternative investments, and instead “valued the investments himself, using prices that had no correlation to prices published by VSR. Specifically, Towers provided consolidated statements to [a couple] dated February 25, 2008, January 22, 2009, March 26, 2009, and May 27, 2009. In each instance, Towers, despite knowing that the values of the investments had declined, listed [the couple’s] original cost basis as the value of the investments, rather than the actual current value specified by VSR.” The couple filed a complaint once they finally became aware that the investment had significantly declined in value.
Towers was a financial advisor registered with VSR Financial Services, Inc. from September 2002 through December 2013. He is not currently registered with any investment firm.
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