March 29, 2017
On March 13, 2017, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) released an Order Instituting Public Administrative and Cease-and-Desist Proceedings (Order) against Aaron Parthemer of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. From June 2009 through October 2011 and from October 2011 through April 2015 Parthemer was a registered representative and investment adviser representative at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, respectively. Additionally, from 2005 thought 2012, Parthemer was a National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) Registered Financial Advisor. On April 22, 2015, FINRA accepted Parthemer’s Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent and officially barred him from associating with any FINRA member firm in any capacity.
According to the Order, one of Parthemer’s existing brokerage customers turned to Parthemer to help raise the capital and find investors for his company, Global Village Concerns, Inc. (GVC). Now a void Delaware Corporation, GVC was a branding and marketing company, headquartered in San Diego, California, that helped high schools and non-profit organizations earn money by selling customized school or organizational memorabilia and products. The Order states that Parthemer subsequently solicited and sold over $5 million of unregistered, illiquid securities in GVC to certain NFLPA members and investment advisory clients without informing MSSB or Wells Fargo of this activity. Parthemer allegedly communicated to one customer that the return on his investment in GVC would be in the millions, even though he did not have a reasonable basis to quantify the expected return or the valuation for these investments. Parthemer also allegedly misrepresented and omitted material information about GVC investments to his clients, including information provided to him by GVC. Parthemer allegedly failed to conduct due diligence to verify the legitimacy of the information he provided to his clients. Finally, Parthemer allegedly used his personal email and phone to communicate with his brokerage customers concerning firm business.
As a result of the conduct above, the SEC alleges that Parthemer violated SEC rules and regulations. For this alleged misconduct, the SEC ordered Parthemer be barred from associating with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent, or nationally recognized statistical rating organization, barred from participating in any offering of a penny stock, and prohibited from serving or acting as an employee for a registered investment company.