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Houston Investment Advisors Charged With Hiding Securities Transactions From Clients

secNew York (HedgeCo.Net) – Two Houston-based investment advisory firms and three executives have been charged by the SEC for engineering thousands of principal transactions through their affiliated brokerage firm without informing their clients.

The SEC alleges that investment advisers Parallax Investments LLC and Tri-Star Advisors engaged in thousands of securities transactions with their clients on a principal basis through their affiliated brokerage firm without making the required disclosures to clients or obtaining their consent beforehand. Parallax’s owner John P. Bott II and Tri-Star Advisors CEO William T. Payne and president Jon C. Vaughan were collectively paid more than $2 million in connection with these trades.

“By failing to disclose principal transactions and obtain consent, Parallax and Tri-Star Advisors deprived their clients of knowing in advance that their advisers stood to benefit substantially by running the trades through an affiliated account,” said Marshall S. Sprung, co-chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Asset Management Unit.

According to the SEC, Parallax allegedly violated the principal transaction, custody, and compliance provisions of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and Bott allegedly aided, abetted, and caused the violations. Falkenberg allegedly aided, abetted, and caused Parallax’s custody and compliance violations. Tri-Star Advisors allegedly violated the principal transaction and compliance provisions of the Advisers Act, and Payne and Vaughan allegedly caused the violations.

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