The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken significant action against Bruderman Asset Management, now known as Gary Goldberg Planning Services, LLC (BAM), and its founder, Matthew J. Bruderman. The SEC has instituted public administrative and cease-and-desist proceedings against these entities, with a final Order found here, citing violations of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The proceedings revolve around the alleged misuse of client funds by BAM, which raised over $6.1 million from investment advisory clients and directed these funds towards entities with ties to Bruderman. The SEC alleges that these actions violated various sections of the Advisers Act, including Sections 206(2) and 206(4), and Rule 206(4)-7.
According to the SEC Order, between February 2017 and August 2021, BAM, under Bruderman’s direction, persuaded at least thirteen investment advisory clients to invest substantial amounts totaling $6.1 million in entities where Bruderman had significant ownership and decision-making authority. Shockingly, these clients were not informed that their investments would temporarily be diverted to cover expenses unrelated to their intended investments or to repay loans made by Bruderman himself.
One particularly concerning example involved a $500,000 equity investment, where $400,000 was transferred to Bruderman’s personal bank account to repay a loan owed by one of the entities. The clients invested based on BAM’s advice, unaware of the temporary diversion of their funds. Despite BAM’s written policies requiring disclosure of material conflicts of interest, these conflicts remained undisclosed, leaving clients in the dark about the use of their investments.