Robert Starnes, SA Stone Wealth Advisor, Allegedly Stole Client Funds
A financial advisor from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, Robert Starnes (CRD#: 1429794), has been charged with two counts of wire fraud, according to Biztimes. Starnes, the owner, and operator of Robert C. Starnes Financial Services (d.b.a. Starnes Financial Services), allegedly misappropriated clients’ funds for personal expenses.
Between November 2019 and May 2023, Starnes is accused of deceiving clients into thinking he would invest their money for returns. Instead, he allegedly deposited the funds into his personal accounts, providing victims with false statements indicating investment gains.
When clients requested withdrawals from their purported investment accounts, Starnes reportedly used his personal bank accounts to write checks and transfer funds. The indictment reveals that Starnes allegedly diverted investor funds to cover personal expenses, including settling credit card debts.
Two specific incidents, on Jan. 19, 2021, and Oct. 29, 2021, allegedly resulted in wire fraud charges, involving transfers of $37,000 and $35,000, respectively. The total amount allegedly stolen is undisclosed in court documents.
Starnes could face up to 20 years in prison for each wire fraud charge, according to reports.
FINRA BrokerCheck: Robert Starnes
The FINRA BrokerCheck tool is a free online tool that allows investors to research and verify the background and credentials of financial brokers, brokerage firms, and investment advisors registered with FINRA.
According to Robert Starnes’s FINRA BrokerCheck report, he reportedly has 4 regulatory disclosures on his broker record.
Starnes has a pending customer complaint filed in August 2023. His customer alleged in the complaint filed with SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) that “she invested $30,000.00 in September 2021 and another $5,000.00 in August 2022 with the representative. She states the investments were made by writing a check payable to the representative. She states she requested her investments be liquidated in April 2023 and expected the funds no later than May 30 but still does not have the funds. Per her complaint, neither company listed on her statements provided by the representative have a record of an account for her or of the investment he claimed to have purchased with her funds.”
Starnes was reportedly barred from the securities industry in July after he failed to provide information in FINRA’s investigation. Though Starnes was purportedly doing business under the name Starnes Financial Services, he was reportedly affiliated with the following firms during his career, among others:
12/06/2019 – 05/16/2023, SA STONE WEALTH MANAGEMENT INC. (CRD#:18456), Wauwatosa, WI,
B, 06/12/2014 – 12/23/2019, QUEST CAPITAL STRATEGIES, INC. (CRD#:16783), LAGUNA HILLS, CA
B, 01/23/2008 – 12/31/2013, BERTHEL, FISHER & COMPANY FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC. (CRD#:13609), WAUWATOSA, WI
According to his FINRA BrokerCheck report, SA Stone discharged Starnes after allegations that he” violated the Firm’s policy/procedure related to acceptance of client funds.”
Filing a Complaint against your Brokerage Firm
FINRA has regulations in place to ensure advisors act in the best interest of their clients (known as fiduciary duty), but it is wise for investors to stay informed and ask for clarification about any recommendations made by their advisor.
When brokers abuse client accounts and conduct transactions that violate securities laws, the brokerage firm they are working with may be liable for investment losses through FINRA Arbitration. Brokerage firms that fail to monitor the business activities of their employees may be liable for investment losses due to negligent supervision for the misconduct of their employees.
If you have suffered investment losses with Robert Starnes, the securities attorneys at the White Law Group may be able to help you. For a free consultation with a securities attorney, please call (888) 637-5510.
The White Law Group, LLC is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, investor protection, and securities regulation/compliance law firm dedicated to helping investors in claims in all 50 states against their financial professional or brokerage firm. Since the firm launched in 2010, it has handled over 700 FINRA arbitration cases.
Our firm represents investors in all types of securities related claims, including claims involving stock fraud, broker misrepresentation, churning, unsuitable investments, selling away, and unauthorized trading, among many others.
With over 30 years of securities law experience, The White Law Group has the expertise to help investors to recover their securities fraud losses. For more information, please visit our website, www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.