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Keith Springer and Springer Investment Management, Inc. dba Springer Financial Advisors (Release No. LR-25557; Oct. 14, 2022)

Litigation Release No. 25557 / October 14, 2022

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Keith Springer and Springer Investment Management, Inc. dba Springer Financial Advisors, No. 19-cv-02559 (E.D. Cal. filed December 19, 2019)

On September 2, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission obtained a final judgment against California-based investment adviser Keith Springer and his firm, Springer Investment Management, Inc. dba Springer Financial Advisors (SFA), whom were charged with defrauding hundreds of retail clients, most of whom were retirees or near-retirees. Springer and SFA agreed to settlements that included $400,000 in penalties and an associational bar against Springer.

The SEC’s complaint, filed in federal court in Sacramento, California in December 2019, alleged amongst other things, that Springer and SFA engaged in deceptive practices while soliciting new clients, including falsely claiming that they did not receive any incentives to recommend particular investments when they in fact received compensation for recommending certain products. The complaint also alleged that they breached their fiduciary duty by failing to disclose these arrangements and the conflicts of interest that resulted, filed false reports with the Commission, and failed to maintain an adequate compliance program and required books and records.

Springer and SFA consented to entry of a final judgment permanently enjoining them from violating the antifraud provisions of Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and ordering them to pay, jointly and severally, a civil penalty of $400,000.

Springer also agreed to settle an administrative proceeding pursuant to Section 203(f) of the Advisers Act barring him from association with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent, or nationally recognized statistical rating organization.

The SEC’s litigation was conducted by Sheila O’Callaghan, Bernard Smyth, and Sallie Kim of the SEC’s San Francisco Regional Office. The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Ms. Kim and supervised by Monique Winkler of the San Francisco Regional Office.