A broker fired by LPL Financial in August is facing an injunction and asset freeze from New Hampshire's bureau of securities regulation, which alleges the broker, Dain F. Stokes, solicited two clients to invest more than half a million dollars in a fake African charity project in which he claimed Taylor Swift was personally involved.
New Hampshire suspended Mr. Stokes' license on Aug. 26, and LPL later fired him. The bureau of securities regulation released a statement Wednesday about the matter.
[Recommended video: Next gen advisers must be more diverse]
At the start of August, a client of Mr. Stokes filed a police report alleging fraud related to a $201,000 investment project that the broker had classified as confidential, according to Mr. Stokes' BrokerCheck report. The client provided copies of canceled checks, unsecured promissory notes and text messages to the police.
According to New Hampshire, Mr. Stokes solicited a total of at least $576,000 from two clients to purportedly invest in the African charity and claimed their investments would generate a 20% return. Mr. Stokes also allegedly touted the involvement of other notable people, including Bill Gates, in the charity.
Mr. Stokes, who has mentioned Ms. Swift on social media, could not be reached on Friday to comment.
"Mr. Stokes was terminated on Sept. 12 after we became aware of apparent financial misconduct," an LPL spokesman, Jeff Mochal, wrote in an email. "We continue to investigate this matter internally and cooperate with ongoing investigations."
New Hampshire has found no evidence to support Mr. Stokes' claims that the African charity is credible, the bureau of securities regulation said in its statement. "Rather, the bureau believes Stokes misappropriated investor money by transferring their funds to multiple people and entities across the country while at the same time using some of the investors' money for personal expenses."
Mr. Stokes' assets are frozen, and he was also ordered not to contact clients he solicited in the African charity and not to receive new money from former clients, according to New Hampshire.