Ponzi Scheme sign

Kirk James Bertsch of Spearfish South Dakota a stockbroker formerly employed by Farmers Financial Solutions LLC has been identified in a customer initiated investment related written complaint on February 27, 2020 where the customer sought $24,361.09 in damages founded on accusations of an unregistered promissory note purchase executed by Bertsch while he was employed by Farmers Financial Solutions.

This is the first complaint regarding Bertsch to be reported through Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Public Disclosure since Bertsch was sanctioned by the regulator. Bertsch was suspended from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity supported by findings that he was selling unregistered securities away from Farmers Financial Solutions. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2018059666301 (Feb. 15, 2019). According to the AWC, a customer had been solicited by Bertsch for an investment in Woodbridge Group of Companies LLC – a purported real estate investment fund which may have been a Ponzi scheme.

The AWC stated that in 2017, the customer agreed to pay $50,000.00 for the promissory note which enabled Bertsch to receive compensation. The AWC noted that a chapter 11 bankruptcy petition was filed by Woodbridge Group of Companies following the customer’s purchase.

Bertsch never had permission from Farmers Financial Solutions to effect securities transactions outside of its auspices. FINRA stated that the securities broker dealer was not asked by Bertsch to engage in these sales. FINRA found that Bertsch’s conduct to be violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 3280.

The stockbroker is also the subject of a Consent Order issued by South Dakota in which he was fined $5,000.00 and ordered to cease and desist executing unauthorized transactions with Woodbridge while registered with Farmers Financial Solutions. Case No. 3051 (July 31, 2018).

Bertsch was discharged by Farmers Financial Solutions on August 27, 2018 based upon allegations of him participating in private securities transactions.