Compass Academy owner hit with civil suit; woman claims name was forged on documents

  • Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 12:06 a.m.
    UPDATED: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 12:44 p.m.

A civil lawsuit has now been added to the pile of recent issues surrounding Compass Academy and its founder, Jonathan “Jay” Brooks.

Sandra Fadeley of Aiken has filed a civil suit in Circuit Court claiming that Brooks forged her signature, badly, when he sold all of her stocks and invested the money in Brooks' own Compass Academy project.

The lawsuit, which Fadeley is hoping will become a class action suit, has been filed against Compass Academy, Brooks, J. Brooks Financial LLC and Brooks Real Estate Holdings.

Individually, Fadeley claims she became a client of Brooks and his companies on Jan. 24. Brooks took control of her funds and soon after, “without Plaintiff's knowledge of consent, sold all stocks owned by” Fadeley, according to court documents. This allegedly unrequested sale cost the defendant capital gains tax and broker fees, the complaint states.

Then, on Feb. 19, again without the consent of Fadeley, Brooks is alleged to have forged the signature of his client and transferred the funds to an account of Compass Academy, according to the complaint.

“This is not the signature of the Plaintiff as Plaintiff does not sign her name this way and 'Sandy' is misspelled on the document,” the complaint reads. Attached to the complaint are two exhibits of electronic funds transfers forms with the signatures “Sandy Lee Fadeley.” According to records, Fadeley truncates her name to Sandi – not Sandy.

On Feb. 27, a very similar incident is described in the complaint.

The “class” are defined as “All South Carolina citizens whose funds were used to purchase securities from Defendants.”

Brooks is alleged, by the Securities Division of the Attorney General's office, to have illegally sold securities – as investments in Compass Academy – that were unregistered with the State and that he was not registered as a broker-dealer with the company that sold them. Both of these are a breach of State Securities Act punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 per incident, according to the Attorney General's Office.

This complaint was filed on March 8, and there has not yet been a response filed from Brooks or his attorney. Emails and calls requesting comment from Brooks were not returned.

The lawsuit was filed after the Attorney General's office released its first document, a “Notice of Intent to Seek Revocation” of Brooks' financial advising registrations. Brooks and his attorney have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing related to this document and a subsequent civil complaint from the Attorney General.

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