Frank Julian Bluestein may have flipped a nut. Bluestein was ranked number four on our “America’s Top 100 Independent Advisors” list, published in August of this year, with $1 billion in assets. Until recently, he was a co-owner of Maximum Financial in Waterford, Mich. Bluestein, formally affiliated with GunnAllen. But he is no longer registered, according to a BrokerCheck Report on the FINRA CRD system; In fact, he is currently being investigated by Michigan state securities regulators, and, possibly, the SEC. (The SEC declined to comment.)
Apparently, Bluestein’s love for his vocation knows no bounds: After being terminated by GunnAllen for selling unregistered securities, Bluestein moved down the street where, according to a Detroit Fox News affiliate, he is working under the name, “Frank Julian,” as a member of the “research team” at a company called Freedom Road, which claims to be in the business of “stock selection and market education.” (Visit the Freedom Road website .)
According to the Freedom Road website, for a monthly membership of $24.95 a month ($199.95 annually) the firm will help individuals get stock tips that, the website says, “protect your principal from the whims of the market and find gems that give you unlimited potential” [original emphasis]. The site says subscribers can gross an 8 percent annual return (“or better”)—“FOREVER” [original emphasis]. Frank Julian’s bio says that he “has been picking stocks for 40 years,” (Bluestein was born in 1949) and that “after many years as one of the nation’s leading financial advisors, Frank is now sharing his million dollar stock secrets.” Needless to say a “BrokerCheck” search on FINRA’s website for “Frank Julian” called up the name of the same broker who is no longer registered with the organization, named “Frank Julian Bluestein.”
As Registered Rep. reported on Tuesday, Bluestein’s CRD reveals that in October, 10 customer disputes were logged against him totaling approximately $1.57 million in alleged damages. According to Bluestein’s CRD, on October 12 the Michigan Office of Financial Regulation notified GunnAllen, his broker/dealer, that Bluestein was being investigated. In short, from the complaints on his CRD, it appears that Bluestein is charged with selling unregistered securities to his clients. (Bluestein hasn’t commented and calls to his home went to an answering machine.)
The charges stem from Bluestein’s alleged involvement in a fraudulent scheme to entice his clients to invest with Detroit-area resident Edward May, and May’s firm E-M Management Co. LLC. The SEC filed a lawsuit against May, and his firm, on November 20, charging him with defrauding $250 million from as many as 1,200 investors between 1998 and July 2007. May was selling shares of limited liability companies, which he claimed had received revenues from telecommunication contracts with Las Vegas hotels, casino and resorts. According to an SEC press release, the contracts were phony.
Bluestein’s association with Maximum Financial and b/d GunnAllen ended in October, but according to a Detroit Fox 2 television station segment, which aired on Wednesday, Bluestein, or “Frank Julian,” was followed outside to an unmarked office building just down the street from his old office. In a segment called “Hall of Shame,” which aired on Nov. 19, (a day before the SEC brought charges against May), Bluestein told Fox 2 news he wasn’t doing any more advising and the mysterious office at 5390 Highland Road, he was found entering and exiting frequently, was, “Nothing, it’s just a building,” he said. However, according to Fox 2, Freedom Road Trading LLC is registered under Ramona Bluestein (Frank’s wife) and the address is 5390 Highland Road—the same one Bluestein was seen leaving.
As if that were not enough, Bluestein is allegedly the protagonist of a video on YouTube called that was “Freedom Road Trading” posted on Nov. 16. In the segment, the individual speaking says Freedom Road was not meant for the “advanced trader,” but rather for a “beginner, that’s looking for some income flow, some opportunities to make some money in the market, safely.” The man in the video adds that, “Luck is not an investment strategy, we’re here for real.” The clip ends with a Freedom Road advertisement showing a man being showered in cash. As of mid-day Monday, Bluestein’s post had gotten 514 hits but there were no comments.
Bluestein’s lawyer could not be reached for comment.