Thursday, September 6, 2007
More from the SEC on crackdowns against senior fraud: it settled enforcement actions against Commonwealth Equity Services, LLP, based in Waltham, Mass.; Detwiler, Mitchell, Fenton & Graves, Inc., based in Boston; and James X. McCarty, a resident of South Dennis, Mass. for failing to reasonably supervise former registered representative Bradford J. Bleidt, who engaged in a multi-million dollar fraud while they were overseeing him. At least forty of Bleidt's victims were over age 70 at the time the Commission charged him. Bleidt was associated with Commonwealth from 1991 to 2001 and with Detwiler from 2001 to 2004. In 2004, he was charged by the Commission and the Massachusetts Securities Division with securities fraud stemming from a scheme in which he misappropriated more than $31 million from over 100 victims. Bleidt is currently serving an 11-year jail term as a result of related criminal charges brought by the United States Attorney's Office in Boston. He pled guilty to those charges in 2005. The SEC's Order against Commonwealth finds that it failed to establish reasonable policies and procedures for responding to red flags related to Bleidt's outside business activities.