Carrier Financial Services, Laurent Carrier sanctioned for roles in sale of Woodbridge securities

DENVER — Colorado Securities Commissioner Gerald Rome signed an order Tuesday confirming that investment adviser Laurent Carrier and his firm, Carrier Financial Services, LLC, both of Colorado Springs, will withdraw their Colorado securities licensure. As part of the Commissioner’s agreement with Carrier, he has agreed never to reapply for such licensure in the state.

The Order comes as a result of the Respondents’ involvement in selling unregistered securities for the Woodbridge Group of Companies, which has been charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with operating a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.

According to an investigation by the Colorado Division of Securities, part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), Carrier offered to sell and sold First Position Commercial Mortgages from Woodbridge to at least 50 investors in Colorado, but these securities were never registered with the Division, nor were they exempt from registration. The Division estimates that approximately $5.1 million in Woodbridge securities were sold to investors by the Respondents.

“The Woodbridge case highlights the important role financial advisers play as gatekeepers to the securities markets,” stated Rome.  “Customers rely on their advisers’ superior knowledge, training, and experience, and expect sound investment advice.  When recommending a financial product, the adviser says to the customer that he has done the necessary background work to ensure that the product is appropriate.  Failure to live up to these important responsibilities can cause significant harm to their customers, and have serious consequences for the financial professional.”

As part of the signed Stipulation and Consent Order, the Respondents have agreed to terminate licensure with the state of Colorado within ten days, and Laurent Carrier has agreed that he shall not reapply for a securities license of any kind in Colorado.