Former Rehoboth financial advisor settles SEC lawsuit


A former Rehoboth Beach financial advisor has settled a lawsuit filed against her by the Securities and Exchange Commission, agreeing to step away from her business and pay a fine.

In 2022, the SEC filed a civil suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Cassandra Toroian alleging she cherry-picked trades – a process of buying and selling funds, but giving profits to only a few investors and posting losses for the rest – after a broker terminated business with Toroian’s company Bell Rock Capital, the lawsuit states.

In a 2022 interview, Toroian said the lawsuit came down to arbitrary numbers and data based on handpicked trades over a single day as opposed to actual long-term performance.

As part of the settlement, Toroian neither admits or denies the allegations in the complaint. She also agrees to no longer work with clients on investments or advise them on investments, and pay a $220,000 fine.

Toroian did not comment on the settlement.

Before the final judgment, Toroian signed a consent order that effectively prevents her from discussing the case. In it, she agrees to “not take any action or make or permit to be made any public statement denying, directly or indirectly, any allegation in the complaint or creating the impression that the complaint is without factual basis.” 

The consent order goes on to prevent her from making or “permit to be made any public statement to the effect that she does not admit the allegations of the complaint, or that this consent contains no admission of the allegations, without also stating that she does not deny the allegations.”

Toroian has since stepped away from Bell Rock Capital, a firm she founded in 2006 eventually serving up to 200 clients and managing as much as $220 million in assets.

She said she sold the company to another registered investment advisor in July, and neither she or her company have been registered advisors for several months.

Toroian has since started a new company, Firsthand Research and Consulting, that builds on her experience and financial background but has a focus on new technologies such Blockchain and cryptocurrency. “I guess you could say I am part of a group out there that believes in the democratization of anything related to finance,” she said. “I also at my core believe in helping others and so the consulting I’m involved with leverages my experiences in a way I can pay it forward.” 



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