Marty and Kim Sands pitch suckers
Greenwich resident Martin Sands is in trouble with the SEC, again.
The Securities and Exchange Commission charged a Greenwich resident Wednesday with violating the “custody rule,” which is aimed at protecting clients from unscrupulous investment advisors.
Martin Sands, 53, who lives in Greenwich’s backcountry, was one of three top executives at New York-based Sands Brothers Asset Management charged this week. According to the SEC, Sands, along with his brother, Steven Sands, have been sanctioned by the SEC for custody rule violations before, back in 2010.
Sands, who recently launched Paleo Passion Pops, a new Greenwich-based company that sells healthful popsicles containing all natural ingredients, was previously censured by the SEC in 2010 for willfully aiding abetting and causing SBAM’s violation of its custody rule then, according to the SEC.
In addition to the 2010 censure, the SEC notes in the order instituting administrative and cease-and-desist proceedings filed Wednesday, that Sands “has been sanctioned by the securities authorities in Wisconsin,” and “twice been temporarily barred from association or suspended from holding supervisory positions, censured and fined by the New York Stock Exchange.” The SEC also alleged that the firm “has also been the subject of a number of customer complaints concerning misappropriation of assets, at least one of which resulted in an NASD arbitration award of $2.15 million.”
Sands, readers may recall, is the neighbor of Judge Judy’s on LaFrantz road who built an illegal lacrosse field on his property, sending runofff cascading onto hers. The NYT reported,
The Sheindlins said the field is illegal because it was built without the proper permits and wetlands approval. They also said it infringes on their privacy.
”When we complained, Mr. Sands’ response was he would buy our home,” Ms. Sheindlin said. ”We love our home and suggest he use that money to purchase a site for his sports field in a properly zoned area.
Sands has an extensive history of refusing to pay customer arbitration awards
Sands Brothers & Co., a private company formed in 1990 by brothers Martin and Steven Sands to cater to wealthy investors, has the right to continue appealing the awards and to make settlement offers that are lower than awarded amounts, said Richard Roth, a New York attorney who represents Sands Brothers & Co. and the two founders. He denied that he threatened that the firm will not be able to pay arbitration awards if clients don’t agree to lowball settlements.
“That’s only somewhat accurate,” Roth said of his settlement strategy. “I have been telling investors that they (Sands Brothers & Co.) have filed to withdraw as a broker-dealer, and if they want to settle, there is money that has been set aside. I do try to get them down to as little as possible – I’ve settled from 1.5 cents on a dollar to 10 cents on a dollar.”
Another disgruntled Sands Brothers investor has compiled a nasty docket of previous sanctions, awards and orders against the firm and its principals, which you can find here, and our own state’s Banking Commission recites a history of wrongdoing here.
I spent much of my first career hunting wicked stock brokers and their ilk, and I can usually smell an arrogant, above-the-law crook when he weaves his sweaty path past my nostrils. I’m sure Mr. Sands isn’t that sort of fellow; indeed, I never encountered him in my own cases, but when a person with his sort of disciplinary history expands into pseudo-health foods, my olfactory senses stir to life.