The SEC has barred a former LPL Financial broker for running a Ponzi scheme that cost investors $4.9 million, the regulator says.

On Oct. 22, James Booth pleaded guilty to misappropriating money from around 40 investors. From 2013 through 2019, the former broker convinced clients to invest their funds outside of the financial services firm he ran, transfer the money to a bank account of an entity he controlled and then used the funds to cover personal expenses.

Booth then created bogus statements to show purported purchases of securities.

The SEC barred Booth in light of his plea, according to an administrative document published by the regulator.

The former broker is facing a maximum of 20 years in prison, with his sentencing scheduled for Feb. 21.


Booth, who began his financial services industry career in 1988, ended up at LPL as a result of its 2018 acquisition of National Planning Holdings, whose subsidiary Invest Financial Booth had joined in 2005.

LPL discharged Booth in May 2019 after he admitted to client fund misappropriation while at a previous firm. Finra barred him in July.