Austin Richard Dutton Jr. (also known as Austin Richard Duttin), of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, a stockbroker formerly registered with Newbridge Securities Corporation, is referenced in a customer initiated investment related FINRA securities arbitration claim in which the customer sought $100,001.00 in damages based upon allegations that Dutton breached a fiduciary duty and breached a contract relating to alternative investments sold to the customer of Newbridge Securities Corp. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Arbitration No. 21-02528 (December 8, 2021). The claim alleges misrepresentation, negligence, and unsuitable alternative investment sales by Dutton.
FINRA Public Disclosure shows that Dutton has been identified in 23 additional customer initiated investment related disputes regarding accusations of his wrongdoing while employed by Newbridge Securities Corporation and Ferris Baker Watts.
On July 24, 2017, Dutton was charged by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Banking and Securities with the violation of Section 305(a)(ix) of the Pennsylvania Securities Act, and Regulation 305.019, as promulgated thereunder, for engaging in “dishonest or unethical practices in the securities business by recommending to a customer the purchase, sale, or exchange of a security without reasonable grounds to believe that the transaction or recommendation was suitable for the customer based upon reasonable inquiry concerning the customer’s investment objectives, financial situation and needs and other relevant information known by the agent.” Commonwealth v. Dutton, Docket No. 17-00046 (July 24, 2017).
One week earlier, on On July 18, 2017, in a separate proceeding, Newbridge enter into a Consent Order with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Banking and Securities and agreed to pay a fine of $499,000 for the failure to maintain a reasonable system, the failure to apply and enforce written procedures pertaining to their sales of structured products by one agent in Pennsylvania to certain of his clients who were residents of Pennsylvania. Commonwealth v. Newbridge Securities Corporation, Docket No. 17-00043 (July 18, 2017).
Newbridge is responsible for Dutton’s conduct and the supervision of his business activities to reasonably detect and prevent the misconduct complained of herein. Newbridge also had the opportunity and ability to control Dutton’s activities and the activities conducted at its branch offices, and is therefore liable to the defrauded investors under common law agency principles, and as a “control person” pursuant to Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. §78(t) and Section 401 of the Pennsylvania Securities Act of 1972, 70 Pa. C.S. § 401.
Dutton is identified in a customer initiated investment related FINRA securities arbitration claim which was resolved for $29,000.00 in damages founded on allegations of Dutton having omitted and misrepresented key details relating to the customer’s alternative investment transactions at Newbridge Securities Corporation. FINRA Arbitration No. 18-04210 (February 13, 2020). The claim alleges Dutton’s negligence and bad investment advice to the customer.
On February 19, 2020, another customer initiated investment related FINRA securities arbitration claim concerning Dutton’s conduct was settled for $95,000.00 in damages supported by accusations of breach of fiduciary duty and negligence concerning Dutton’s structured product sales during the time that he was associated with Newbridge Securities Corporation. FINRA Arbitration No. 18-03557. According to the claim, misrepresentations and omissions by Dutton resulted in damages to the customer.
Dutton is also the subject of a customer initiated investment related FINRA securities arbitration claim which was resolved for $52,500.00 in damages based upon allegations of a breach of fiduciary duty and the failure to perform due diligence pertaining to alternative investments sold by Dutton while he was registered with Newbridge Securities Corporation. FINRA Arbitration No. 19-01018 (July 23, 2020). According to the claim, Dutton omitted and misrepresented information concerning investments.
On October 6, 2021, a different customer initiated investment related FINRA securities arbitration claim involving Dutton’s conduct was settled for $55,000.00 in damages founded on accusations of Dutton’s unsuitable alternative investment sales to a customer of Newbridge Securities Corporation. FINRA Arbitration No. 20-01671. According to the claim, the securities broker dealer or Dutton effected these transactions in breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.
FINRA Public Disclosure shows that on March 29, 2021, Dutton became the subject of a FINRA investigation. Case No. 2018059178401. The regulator indicated that it may take disciplinary action against Dutton for his potential unsuitable recommendations in violation of FINRA Rules 2010 and 2111. FINRA also indicated that Dutton may face disciplinary action for potentially violating FINRA Rules 2010 and 4511.
Dutton was employed by Newbridge Securities Corporation as a stockbroker between August 8, 2007, and August 10, 2017. He was registered with Newbridge Financial Services Group Inc. as an investment adviser representative between August 15, 2007, and August 10, 2017. Dutton was also registered with Center Street Securities, Sandlapper Securities, and Primex before registering with American Trust Investment Services on May 27, 2020.