Innovation Partners: 1 Pending Regulatory Complaint

Innovation PartnersPublicly available records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on June 12, 2019 indicate that North Carolina-based brokerage and advisory firm Innovation Partners has received a regulatory sanction in connection to alleged rule violations. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Innovation Partners (CRD# 146344).

Established in North Carolina in 2007, Innovation Partners is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina and registered with 49 US states and territories. According to its BrokerCheck report, the firm has received three regulatory sanctions.

In November 2018 Innovation Partners was named respondent in a FINRA complaint in connection to allegations it allowed a statutorily disqualified individual to act as an associated person and perform clerical and managerial tasks on the firm’s behalf, despite the termination of his registrations. According to FINRA’s complaint, the firm failed in its duty to establish, maintain and enforce a supervisory system properly designed to prevent unregistered and/or statutorily disqualified person from performing duties contingent on registration and also to prevent unregistered individuals from accessing firm systems. FINRA’s complaint states that the firm did not act on “numerous red flags” indicating that the individual in question was performing duties that required firm registration, for instance: “numerous email exchanges between him and firm associated persons and vendors” concerning business and operations. According to FINRA, “many” of the emails in question were also sent to the firm’s president and CEO; there were also communications between the individual and the president and CEO, according to FINRA, which concerned personnel matters and financial reporting. The complaint remains pending.

The former representative at issue in the FINRA complaint against Innovation Partners, Patrick Sutherland, was registered with the firm from 2008 until 2016. He is currently not registered with any state or firm. According to his BrokerCheck report, his registration-requiring activities included the supervision and direction of firm-associated persons in matters relating to the firm’s securities business; involvement in financial reporting matters; arranging for branch office examinations and communicating with vendors; the recruiting of registered representatives; and involvement in personnel decisions such as negotiating terms of employment and directing the president and CEO in connection to matters involving staff pay. The FINRA complaint against him also alleges that he provided FINRA with false and misleading information during its investigation of his conduct, including making false denials that he engaged in communications with a firm email address, and falsely attesting that he “did not access his email from his cellular telephone.” Mr. Sutherland was also charged in 2015 in the Western District Court of North Carolina with four felony counts of owning an offshore company and not reporting the income for tax purposes, to which he pled not guilty.

If you or someone you know has a complaint regarding Innovation Partners, call Fitapelli Kurta at 877-238-4175 for a free consultation. You may be able to recover lost funds. Fitapelli Kurta accepts all cases on contingency: we only get paid if and when you collect money. You may have a limited window to file your complaint, so we encourage you to avoid delay. Call 877-238-4175 now to speak to an attorney for free.