Beware of Stock Brokers Selling Away From Brokerage Firm

Selling away is a practice engaged in by unethical “financial professionals” that involves the recommendation of investment away from the brokerage firm where the “financial professional” is registered. This is an unethical practice and often leads to investors losing their entire investment.

Recently, Vernon Litigation Group has seen an uptick in the unethical practice of Selling Away. Similarly, the primary regulator for brokerage firms, FINRA, seems to be catching more brokers engaging in the practice of selling away.

One recent example is Chris Hellman of Plantation, Florida, who was barred from the securities industry by FINRA for selling away and failing to disclose outside business activities. A review of Hellman’s publicly available regulatory history reveals a past littered with regulatory and customer problems, as well as personal financial struggles.

Another example is Kyle Harrington in California, who was also barred from the securities industry by FINRA for wrongdoing related to private securities transactions (ie selling away) and outside business activities. A review of Harrington’s publicly available regulatory history reveals a troubling pattern of jumping from firm to firm (17 different brokerage firms in 20 years) and 14 disclosed incidents involving employers, regulators, and customers.

Based on the foregoing, we make the following recommendations to you as the investor:

1.  Before you trust any financial professional with your money, go to one of the following sites to btain publicly available information regarding the history of the financial advisor: FINRA, Our Broker Check, Investor Lifeguard. Obtaining information on the brokers identified above would likely have deterred any investor from working with these financial advisors who have now been barred from the securities industry for wrongdoing

2.  Once you entrust a financial advisor with your money, avoid investing in anything that the financial professional wants you to do with your money outside of your account with the brokerage firm where the financial professional is registered. Vernon Litigation just did a helpful video on this issue:

3.  If you discover that you have invested in something your financial advisor sold away from the firm, do not wait to see how the investment turns out. Rather, contact an attorney competent in this area of the law for advice on how to unwind the transaction before the damages become catastrophic.

4.  If you have already lost money on the selling away investment, contact an attorney competent in this area of the law to investigate pursuing claims against the firm. Investment firms have significant obligations to supervise financial advisors registered with the firm and selling away typically results from the failure of the investment firm to carry out its supervisory and compliance obligations.


Vernon Litigation Group is a law firm that represents clients in courtroom litigation, arbitration, including FINRA arbitration, and mediation throughout the United States. Our lawyers have significant experience pursuing selling away claims against brokerage firms and other gatekeepers on behalf of investors throughout the United States. Please contact us to discuss your rights if you believe you invested in a significant product or products that were sold away from the firm where your financial advisor was registered. For more information, visit our website at or contact us by phone at 239-649-5390 or by e-mail at to speak with an attorney at Vernon Litigation Group.

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