In the Matter of Fortius Financial Advisors, LLC, et al.
Admin. Proc. File No. 3-17385
On August 15, 2016, the Commission instituted and simultaneously settled administrative proceedings (the “Order”) against Fortius Financial Advisors, LLC (“Fortius”), an investment adviser formerly registered with the Commission; Jeff M. Bollinger (“Bollinger”), Fortius’ founder and managing member; and Gary E. Oliver (“Oliver”), a former member of the firm (collectively, the “Respondents”). In the Order, the Commission found that the Respondents invested more than $800,000 of the entities’ assets in unsuitable, illiquid investments in which the Respondents had an undisclosed financial interest, and over the course of approximately four years, Oliver misappropriated approximately $137,000 from the trust entities’ accounts. Further, the Order found that Fortius and Bollinger failed reasonably to supervise Oliver and failed to comply with the requirements of the custody rule under the Advisers Act in light of Oliver’s full signatory authority over the trust entities’ accounts, and Fortius and Bollinger failed to adopt and implement policies and procedures reasonably designed to prevent violations of the Advisers Act and its rules, particularly as to Oliver’s misappropriation of client assets. Finally, the Order found that Oliver caused Fortius to make untrue statements in its registration application filed with the Commission. The Commission ordered Fortius to pay $20,749 in disgorgement, $3,321 in prejudgment interest, and a $70,000.00 civil money penalty; and Bollinger to pay $1,718 in disgorgement, $252 in prejudgment interest, and a $25,000.00 civil money penalty, pursuant to the payment plan detailed therein. The Commission also created a Fair Fund, pursuant to Section 308(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, so the penalties, along with the disgorgement and interest, can be paid to the Foundation harmed by the Respondents’ conduct described in the Order (“Fair Fund”). The Commission further ordered Oliver to pay disgorgement of $138,436, prejudgment interest of $15,426, and a $125,000 civil money penalty to the Commission to be held pending a decision whether the Commission, in its discretion, will seek to distribute the funds, pursuant to Section 308(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or transfer the funds to the U.S. Treasury. See the Commission’s Order: Release No. IA-4483.
To date, there is approximately $120,970 in the Fair Fund.
For more information, please contact the Commission:
Office of Distributions