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FINRA Suspends Sanjay Bhargava, Former Securities America Advisor
Independence, Ohio financial advisor Sanjay Bhargava (CRD# 4495397) allegedly participated in improper private securities transactions, according to a recent FINRA. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority records show that he was most recently registered as a broker and an investment advisor with Regulus Financial Group and Regal Investment Advisors, though he is currently under suspension from acting as a broker.
According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (No. 2020066655701) issued in May 2022, Sanjay Bhargava was associated with Securities America when, in November 2018, an accountant to whom he sometimes referred clients created a limited liability company “y for the purpose of pooling investment funds to invest in a private placement offering” issued by a company involved in the preservation and operation of “historic real estate.” FINRA’s findings state that Mr. Bhargava “played a role in establishing the relationship” between the accountant, who was also a representative at Securities America, and the private placement issuer. He allegedly communicated with the company about the offering and discussed how individuals investing in the accountant’s LLC could “would become investors” in the offering, which he also allegedly discussed “with some individuals.” FINRA states that he “forwarded offering documents for the LLC to six individuals, none of whom were Securities America customers,” and that these individuals invested a total of $341,250 in the LLC. FINRA notes that Mr. Bhargava “did not receive any compensation related to the LLC or the offering,” while adding that he attested in an annual compliance questionnaire “that he did not engage in any private securities transactions since his last attestation.” Finding that his activities constituted violations of FINRA rules, FINRA suspended him from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity for three months. It also issued him a fine of $5,000.
Mr. Bhargava was “permitted to resign” from Securities America in 2020, according to a disclosure on his BrokerCheck report. This disclosure states that his departure from the firm related to allegations that he “assisted in the promotion, jointly with an unrelated CPA firm, of a seminar not approved by the firm concerning historic preservation tax credits, which seminar was held in the office of an unrelated third party.”
Mr. Bhargava’s BrokerCheck report also discloses one investor complaint. Filed in 2014, it alleged that as a representative of QA3 Financial Corporation, he recommended an unsuitable investment in a Behringer Harvard real estate investment trust (REIT). The complaint evolved into an arbitration proceeding before a FINRA panel, which issued an award to the claimant of $32,606.94.
According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Sanjay Bhargava holds 19 years of securities industry experience. Based in Independence, Ohio, he has been a broker with Regulus Financial Group since 2020, though he is currently under suspension from acting as a broker until September 5, 2022. His past registrations include Arbor Point Advisors, Securities America, JK Investment Group, QA3 Financial Corporation, and C.J.M. Planning Corporation. (Information current as of July 29, 2022.)
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