FINRA has barred James Van Doren from the securities industry for unethical conduct. Van Doren was allegedly involved in money laundering and operating a scheme to deceive a friend’s creditors and facilitate criminal conduct, including conspiracy to commit bankruptcy fraud.FINRA found that Van Doren helped a childhood friend and business associate avoid legal obligations by deceiving his creditors. Van Doren had invested in a number of real estate developments with his friend’s company in an outside business activity. The company, however, was not able to meet its obligations, and creditors tried to claim the friend’s assets. On three different occasions, Van Doren accepted a total of $244,000 from the friend, including $30,000 in a briefcase full of cash, with the goal of hiding the assets from the creditors. He returned the majority of the money to his friend and kept some of it for himself to offset some of his own financial losses. FINRA further found that Van Doren made false representations to his own bank in order to acquire more funds. In connection with the scheme, Van Doren pleaded guilty in federal district court to one count of money laundering and was sentenced to 15 months in prison. In the regulatory authority’s decision, FINRA noted that Van Doren is “a grave risk to customers, firms and other participants in the industry,” and is “unfit to be in the securities industry and should be barred.” Unless the decision is appealed to FINRA’s National Adjudicatory Council (NAC), or is called for review by the NAC, the decision will become final after 45 days. If you or someone you know has lost money as a result of an investment or Ponzi scheme, please contact Richard Frankowski at 888-741-7503 to discuss your potential legal remedies or complete the contact form.