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Oscar Francis: SEC Bars Fort Lauderdale Financial Advisor
A disciplinary action taken by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against former Fort Lauderdale, Florida broker and investment advisor Oscar Francis (CRD# 5094722) barred him in connection to allegations he devised a scheme to defraud his clients out of more than $600,000 in funds. A former representative of MML Investors Services, Francis was censured and ordered to pay a civil penalty of $75,000, as well as disgorgement exceeding $217,000.
According to an SEC order dated March 2019, Oscar Francis admitted, in connection to a November 2018 guilty plea in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida, that between June 2012 and May 2017 he “knowingly devised a scheme to defraud at least eleven investors out of approximately $665,190.” As part of that scheme, he solicited customers of his member firm, MML Investors Services, to make investments in a company which he incorporated and controlled, Mahum Inc. He misrepresented to these investors that the company was affiliated with MML Investors Services, and that their investments in the company “would generate high rates of return.” The SEC stated that instead of investing their funds, he misappropriated them for his own personal uses, including “cocaine, alcohol, strip clubs, and luxury items.” In the event that his customers asked questions or made complaints about their funds, according to the SEC, he would repay them by taking out loans or using “other investment funds,” with the aim of preventing investors from notifying the firm or other authorities about his conduct. As a result of these actions—including his guilty plea, sentencing to 41 months imprisonment and order to pay restitution of $422,387.18—Francis was indefinitely barred from associating with a broker, dealer, investment adviser, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent, or NRSRO. He was also barred from participating in any penny stock offering.
Oscar Francis’s disclosure records also list four settled customer complaints and one pending customer complaint against him. A 2018 complaint, for instance, alleged that he misappropriated customer funds connected to the Mahum Inc. investment, which the customer believed to be an MML product; the complaint reached a settlement in 2019 of $59,540.95. A 2017 complaint alleged he recommended an investment unapproved by MML; it reached a settlement of $20,370. Another 2017 complaint similarly alleged he recommended an investment unapproved by the firm; it reached a settlement of $243,652.52. And a pending December 2018 complaint alleges that he recommended an unapproved investment and misappropriated the customer’s funds; the complaint alleges damages of $24,000.
Oscar Francis is currently not registered as a broker or investment advisor. His employment history includes MML Investors Services in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; AXA Advisors in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Raymond James & Associates in Boca Raton, Florida. He currently holds zero state licenses and has passed three securities industry qualification examinations.