FINRA filed a complaint against Dawn Bennett for failing to testify in its investigation of possible fraud related to her clothing company. Bennett did not appear for testimony on four different occasions between April and September of this year, violating FINRA’s rules, according to FINRA’s complaint. The charges come roughly a year after the regulator started looking into her for allegedly engaging in fraud while working at Western International Securities.
Last year, Dawn Bennett allegedly solicited her employer’s clients in a debt deal that supposedly was guaranteed by her retail clothing business at DJBennett.com. She sold roughly six million dollars worth of promissory and convertible notes to around thirty investors, a substantial number of whom were elderly and included Western’s customers, FINRA’s complaint states.
FINRA discovered that she potentially misappropriated investor funds, committed fraud, and performed undisclosed outside business activities and private securities transactions. Western allowed Bennett to resign November of last year.
“Evidence gathered during the investigation reveals that Bennett may have used investors’ money for personal and other expenses unrelated” to her clothing business, according to the FINRA complaint.
The SEC has already gone after Dawn Bennett. The Commission barred her from the securities industry in July for illicit conduct, including material misrepresentations about the amount of assets her financial-advice, Bennett Group Financial Services, managed. The ban stemmed from September 2015 charges that Bennett substantially inflated the firm’s assets and exaggerated investment returns obtained for clients on her radio program “Financial Myth Busting.”
According to FINRA’s BrokerCheck, Bennett has had twelve customer disputes filed against her, dating back to 1995.If you or someone you know has lost money as a result of an investment or Ponzi scheme, please contact Richard Frankowski at 888-741-7503 to discuss your potential legal remedies or complete the contact form.